Colombo, September 16 (NIA): Seven Sri Lankan Tamil parties have written a joint letter to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressing “deep concern” about the attacks on Tamils in Karnataka over the Cauvery waters issue.
The letter dated September 14, was handed over to the Indian Consul General in Jaffna, A.Natarajan, by top leaders of the Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK); Eelam Peoples’ Revolutionay Liberation Front (EPRLF); Peoples’ Liberation Organization of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE); Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization (TELO); Eelam Peoples’ Democratic Party (EPDP); Tamil National Peoples’ Front (TNPF); and Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF).
The letter noted that the Tamils of Karnataka have been undergoing “immense suffering” due to the recent disturbances, but expressed confidence about the ability of the Governments of India, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, to act in concert to restore normalcy and ensure the safety and security of the Tamils in Karnataka and the Kannadigas in Tamil Nadu.
The letter appreciated the efforts being taken by the governments of India, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu to contain the violence and restore normalcy.
Earlier, Maravanpulavu Sachithananthan, the spirit behind the Tamil parties’ move, told the media that it should be the bounden duty of the Tamils of Sri Lanka to express concern over the plight of the Tamils in Karnataka, as the Tamils of the state had supported the Tamils of Sri Lanka when this community was under attack.
Meanwhile in Tamil Nadu, P.Vignesh, a young supporter of the Naam Tamilar Katchi (NTK) led by film director Seeman, committed self-immolation in Chennai in protest against Karnataka’s refusal to release Cauvery waters to Tamil Nadu as directed by the Indian Supreme Court.
The 21 year old Vignesh,a devotee of the slain LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, was rushed to the Kiplauk Medical College Hospital where he was declared dead.
Cadres of NTK also allegedly attacked two cars with Karnataka registration numbers on Anna Salai at Teynampet on Thursday and assaulted one Kumaran who questioned their act.
Based on Kumaran’s complaint, the police have registered a case.
In another incident, stones were thrown at the office of Indian Oil Corporation around 3.30 am. A note supposedly left by the attackers blamed the Centre over the Cauvery issue.
Members of Shiv Sena and NTK staged rail roko at Periamet and Koyambedu. Students of Ambedkar College staged a road roko near NSC Bose Road.
The opposition parties in Tamil Nadu, supported by farmers’ and traders’ organizations, had called for a dawn-to-dusk shut down or “bandh” on Friday. As those who had given the “bandh” call had said a series of protests, including “stop road and rail traffic” would be held, thousands of police personnel had been deployed across the state.
Police said tight vigil was being maintained and no attempts to mar public peace or disruption of free movement of transportation — on road or rail — would be allowed.
The bandh has been called in protest against the violence targeting Tamils in Karnataka and also to seek Cauvery water for the state.
Protection had been provided for Karnataka-related business establishments, schools, institutions and areas where Kannada speaking people live, including Krishnagiri district.
Earlier, since September 12, Tamils and their properties in Karnataka were attacked by political goons. The loses were huge. Work stoppage spread over several days had badly affected IT companies in Bengaluru city which occupy a leading place in India’s new economy.