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Thursday, September 06, 2012 - 6.17 GMT
Sri Lankan Tamil issue, a handy tool for TN political parties Times of India


At a time when there is hardly a ripple on the political horizon, the Sri Lankan Tamil issue has come as a handy tool for political parties in Tamil Nadu. The stand of the ruling AIADMK and the opposition DMK has inspired smaller parties and pro-Tamil outfits to step up their aggression against visiting Sri Lankan dignitaries and tourists, the Times of India ( said.

There have been at least three incidents of intimidation before Monday's Thanjavur episode, but there have been no statements of condemnation by any of the major political parties, which have merely kept up a chorus against Sri Lankan defence personnel being trained in India. Most of the political parties have been trying to whip up Tamil sentiments and trying to outdo each other in scoring political points, it added.

Only the CPM has come out hard against such political posturing and expressed concern over the "hostility" towards the visiting Sri Lankan in TN. In a statement on Tuesday, the CPM politburo said nothing should be done to disturb people-to-people relations whatever be the Lankan government's approach towards the Tamil issue.

"Whatever the differences and opposition that exists regarding the Sri Lankan government's approach to the Tamil question in Sri Lanka, nothing should be done to disturb people-to-people relations," the statement issued in Delhi said. It was "very unfortunate" that two football teams consisting schoolboys from Sri Lanka were sent back from TN "at the instance of the state government," the party said.

Chief minister J Jayalalithaa, in line with her strong anti-Lanka stand, had on Sunday ordered that the two football teams from Sri Lanka be sent back. One team had flown down to Chennai and played a friendly match with the customs department. A Lankan school-level football team was also asked to leave. Tamil Nationalist Movement Leader and LTTE supporter Pazha Nedumaran even congratulated the CM and termed it "a bold decision".

In a sudden volte face, the DMK sought to strike a different note on Tuesday by slamming the AIADMK government for sacking the sports official. However, no condemnation has been forthcoming from the party on the incidents of heckling of Sinhala pilgrims.

All right-thinking Tamils should be concerned over the acts of anger directed against two football teams of Sri Lankan students in Chennai and against Sri Lankan Christian pilgrims in southern Tamil Nadu in recent days, wrote B. Raman in Outlook India (

If a politically-motivated attempt is made now to rouse the feelings of the people of Tamil Nadu over the attitude of the Sri Lankan government towards the Sri Lankan Tamils, the resulting passions may take unpredictable shape, the former Indian government official said.





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Last modified: September 06, 2012.

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