The AIADMK has decided to take on its principal rival DMK, which had been targeting the ruling party with allegations of corruption, by reviving the issue of the DMK’s “complicity” in the alleged massacre of Tamils during the final phase of the Eelam War in Sri Lanka in May 2009.
The ruling party would hold State-wide public meetings on September 25, highlighting how the DMK had “betrayed” the Tamils, Chief Minister and party co-coordinator Edappadi K. Palaniswami told reporters after a two-hour meeting of district secretaries and Ministers at the party headquarters here.
Contending that former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa had, through his recent observations, made public the “secrets” regarding the “assistance” provided by the Indian government to his country during the final stages of the conflict, K.P. Munusamy, joint coordinator, said DMK president M.K. Stalin, who was a Minister then, had no right to criticise the AIADMK government or speak on the welfare of Tamils.
Deputy Chief Minister and party coordinator O. Panneerselvam blamed former Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi for the killings, contending that Karunanidhi’s statement, after his “two-hour-long fast” for the cessation of hostilities, had made “thousands” of Tamils in Sri Lanka believe that the war had indeed ended. But they all died in shelling when they emerged from the bunkers.
R. Vaithilingam, another joint coordinator, said the party would “definitely” take up the issue with the Centre.
When asked why various office-bearers of the party, including organising secretaries, had not been invited to the meeting, a senior leader replied that the event was essentially meant for district secretaries and Ministers.
It was the prerogative of the leadership to invite whomever it wanted. When it was pointed out that when Jayalalithaa was general secretary, it was the norm to invite office-bearers to such events, the leader gave a curt reply: “Not on every occasion.”>