The Sri Lankan Tamils issue appears to have taken a back seat in the campaign for the April 24 Lok Sabha elections in Tamil Nadu, much to the disappointment of pro-Tamil groups in the State.
Almost all the political parties, including those which, vociferously criticised the Congress-led-United Progressive Alliance government at the Centre, for its alleged inaction in protecting the Tamils in the island nation, are hardly mentioning it now.
The leaders of neither the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, which lost no chance to attack the Manmohan Singh government for betraying the interest of the Sri Lankan Tamils, nor the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, which walked out of United Progressive Alliance government over this issue, are emphasising this subject in their campaign meetings now.
The Communist Party of India, Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, the Pattali Makkal Katchi, the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam, all known for their support for the island Tamils, too have remained silent so far.
This was in contrast to the last Lok Sabha elections in 2009 when this issue was alive.
In the last two years, the State has been witnessing several protests, with the leaders of almost all political parties calling for India’s support to the United States-sponsored resolutions against Sri Lanka in the United Nations Human Rights Council.
The DMK indeed pulled out of the government in March last year, days prior to the vote in Geneva.
Various political parties in the State along with several fringe groups opposed tooth and nail India’s participation in the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) held in Sri Lanka.
Agitations by some organisation or the other, particularly by the students, had then become the order of the day.
Just a mention
However, both the AIADMK and the DMK have merely made a mention about this ticklish issue and have not gone beyond that.
Observers point out that Ms. Jayalalithaa made a “U-turn” in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, vociferously supporting the Sri Lankan Tamils cause in all her election meetings.
But, it was the DMK-led UPA which managed to win a majority of 27 seats, despite the entire opposition including CPI, PMK, MDMK at their peak along with AIADMK to exploit this issue.
In contrast, the Congress leaders and candidates have been highlighting the measures taken by the Central government for the rehabilitation of the Tamils in the island natio.
Courtesy: The Hindu