Chennai: M. Karunanidhi, chief of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), on Tuesday called on all Tamils living across the world to wear black on 25 September as a mark of opposition to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s address to the United Nations (UN).
The central government is yet to raise its objections to Rajapaksa’s address to the United Nations General Assembly, he said in a statement.
The DMK patriarch appealed to all Eelam supporters to hoist a black flag and wear black shirts on 25 September as a sign of opposition.
Two weeks ago during at a Tamil Eelam Supporters Organisation meeting, Karunanidhi said since Rajapaksa denied entry to a UN team to probe war crimes, neither he nor any representative from Sri Lanka should be allowed to address the UN.
Rajapaksa should not be allowed to address the UN before he allows the UN probe team to conduct an inquiry into war crimes and human rights violations in the island nation, G.K. Mani, president of the Pattali Makkal Katchi, an ally of the National Democratic Alliance in Tamil Nadu, said on Thursday.
In April during the Lok Sabha elections, the Eelam issue came to the forefront with major political parties in Tamil Nadu opposing India’s abstention from voting on a US-sponsored resolution at the UN Human Rights Council against Sri Lanka for war crimes.
India’s 72 million Tamils share strong and close cultural ties with Sri Lanka’s minority, who accuse the Sri Lankan authorities of failing to protect Tamil civilians during the 37-year civil war with the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
The 1972-2009 civil war claimed 100,000 lives, according to UN estimates. In 2011, UN monitors said tens of thousands died during the army’s final offensive against the LTTE, which was fighting to establish a separate state in the north and east in the Sinhala-majority Sri Lanka.