Minister openly supports ‘eelam'
Union Minister E M Sudarsana Natchiappan’s remark that Tamils should first “capture” the land that belonged to them in Sri Lanka if the Eelam dream is to materialise is perhaps the first time a senior Congress leader from TN has openly acknowledged the idea of an Eelam for Tamils in Lanka. “Like Israel and Palestine, we must also capture the land of Tamils in Sri Lanka. We should struggle with this aim. Sri Lanka belongs to Tamils,” said the minister.
Significantly, he’s the first from the Congress ranks drawing a parallel with Israel in the issue.
Natchiappan’s party, the Congress, has consistently opposed the idea of a separate nation for Tamils and has reiterated that any solution to the ethnic problem in the island nation has to be found within the framework of a unified Lanka.
Giving a call to the Tamil diaspora to return to Lanka, Natchiappan said working against Sri Lanka from abroad would be detrimental to the aim of Eelam. “If you leave this (Lanka) sacred land and do anything against it (from outside), tomorrow Eelam will fade away as a dream,” he said. However, speaking to Express later in the day, Natchiappan clarified that by Eelam he meant entire Sri Lanka and that it was not a call to divide the nation.
Natchiappan said the view he wanted to convey was that the diaspora should desist from causing apprehensions among the Tamil population regarding the upcoming elections.
“They should aid the process of devolution by supporting the democratic process. The political parties in Tamil Nadu hould also provide moral support to the people there for the elections,” he pointed out.