Chennai: DMK chief M Karunanidhi yesterday reiterated that lack of unity among various groups in Sri Lanka had undone the Tamil cause and insisted on unity to achieve the objectives.
The DMK chief, addressing a public meeting here to explain the resolutions of the 12 August Tamil Eelam Supporters' Organisation (TES) Conference, recalled that different groups, including the now decimated LTTE had promised him during a TESO conference in Madurai in the 1980s that they would stay united. However, they had failed to keep up that promise.
"They promised me they will stay united; that they won't harm or kill each other. Had they kept it, Tamil Eelam (separate nationhood) would have been possible," he said.
Fratricide among Tamil groups in Sri Lanka is often attributed as a reason for the Tamil cause being not taken up effectively, with Karunanidhi himself blaming this as a weakening force.
Citing anecdotes, he said, "None can harm us if we stay united and this applies to our party also."
"Had they stayed together, the Tamil flag would have fluttered and we could have enjoyed that sight. We lost that opportunity as there was no discipline and people fought for posts. And therefore we are now grieving at the plight of the Lankan Tamils," he said.
Recalling the External Affairs Ministry's initial objection to using the term 'Eelam' in the 12 August TESO meet, which was later withdrawn, Karunanidhi doubted if the Prime Minister himself had been aware of this objection.
However, party MP TR Baalu had taken it up with the Centre, which subsequently gave the go ahead, Karunanidhi said.
He recalled the court battle to secure permission to hold the conference in Chennai and sarcastically thanked Chief Minister Jayalalithaa for its "successful conduct".