Chandrasekeran seeks release of Vaiko, Nedumaran

In what could have implications for bilateral ties, the Sri Lankan Minister for Community Development, P. Chandrasekaran, has urged the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Jayalalitha, to "immediately release" the MDMK leader, Vaiko, and the Tamil Nationalist Movement leader, P. Nedumaran, detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) for supporting the banned Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

In a letter to Jayalalitha, he said the Tamil plantation workers in Sri Lanka saw Vaiko and Nedumaran as "courageous frontline leaders".

Stating that Sri Lanka had the second largest population of Tamils, next only to Tamil Nadu, he said the Eelam Tamils were "lending a face to a great political struggle that had caught international attention". Hence, "no leader from Tamil Nadu can speak of world Tamils without mentioning the Sri Lankan Tamils. This is the reality". And, the Tamil plantation workers were of the view that the speeches of Vaiko and Nedumaran were based on the understanding of that reality.

Chandrasekaran called upon Jayalalitha to release Vaiko and Nedumaran and "falsify the view that her actions are born out of her failure to understand this reality".

"Please take into consideration the need for the Tamil Nadu Government to give a deep thought to the issue", he said. The Minister claimed that he was making the plea on behalf of the plantation Tamils of Sri Lanka.

However, this is not the first time that Chandrasekaran has disapproved of the arrest of pro-LTTE leaders in Tamil Nadu. Recently, when he was in Chennai to attend the controversial inaugural function of the World Tamil Federation organised by Nedumaran, he declared that Tamil Nadu should produce "thousands and thousands" of Vaikos and Nedumarans.

Further, in his letter, he stated that the basic objective of the World Tamil Federation was to save the ancient language of Tamil, which had been listed as one of the 10 languages facing extinction within the next few decades. — The Hindu