When at first the External Affairs Ministry objected to the use of the word ‘Eelam’ in the title of the TESO conference, observers wondered if the relationship between the Congress and the DMK was getting further strained. The stand taken by the former that they would not participate in the conclave further strengthened this view.
On Sunday, when the deliberations on the resolutions to be passed in the conference concluded in the morning, some delegates who emerged out felt that the DMK was distancing itself from the UPA.
Speaking to Express, Vickramabahu Karunarathne, the Left front candidate in Sri Lanka, who contested and lost against Mahinda Rajapaksa in the Presidential poll, said while it was true that DMK chief M Karunanidhi remained silent during the ‘pogrom’ of 2009, he is now trying to distance himself from the UPA, which, he alleged, aided the Sri Lankan army by supplying arms.
“In 2009, he did not make a noise. He was at fault at that time. Today, he is doing the correct thing. That is why I am here,” he said. However, he added, “Now he is breaking away. He is distancing himself from the current rulers (UPA) and has come out with the conference against the wishes of Sonia Gandhi. This is a very strong statement,” he remarked.
He said that the probable reason for the members of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) not attending the meet could be threats issued by Rajapaksa.