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Sri Lanka Tamil issue echoes hurt TN students


Meenakshi Mahadevan,Veeraraghav,CNN-IBN
Feb 11, 2009 at 11:22am IST

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Chennai: As politicians in Tamil Nadu attempt to gain mileage out of the public show of their sympathies for the Sri Lankan Tamils’ cause, it is the students in the state who bear the brunt.

Many students, facing calls for bandhs and strikes in colleges and schools have been regularly doing the rounds of film theatres.

They frequent cinema halls for the lack of anything else more constructive to do.

Political protests raging across the state have ensured that schools and colleges have remained shut on numerous occasions.

"Everyone in TN should support the Tamil cause but at the same time it’s also having a drastic impact on the students' lives. Colleges are closed, exams are being postponed. I agree every student should support the cause but this is not the way," laments one of them.

While students suffer an imposed vacation, lawyers have been at the forefront of protests showcasing their demands for India’s backing to the Tamils in Sri Lanka.

There have been instances of bizarre attempts like a group of lawyers who decided to set sail for Sri Lankan shores. But a kilometer into the sea, they realised that what they were doing was far more difficult. From there began frantic calls for help to be brought back to the Indian shores. Ultimately, the adventurous group had to be rescued by the police.

Prabhu, the president of the Tuticorin Lawyers’ Association had his own version about what actually happened, though.

"We had gathered here to sail to Mulaitivu to save the Tamils but the police just won’t let us go."

With an educated and informed lot like the lawyers at such attempts, politicians cannot be far behind.

The deep divisions in Dravidian politics have ensured that opposition parties started a group called the Sri Lankan Tamil Protection Movement and the ruling party's response was the Sri Lankan Tamil Welfare Movement. It is needless to add that each of these want to prove that they are the true champions of the Tamil cause.

Competitive politics over the Sri Lankan Tamil issue has lead to bizarre protests with tragic outcomes. The state has already witnessed three incidents of self immolation bids that led to death.

The tragic turn of events has failed to stop politicians who seem to be only concerned about their individual quests to emerge as heroes of the Tamil cause.

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