BANGALORE : Tamil Nationalist Movement (TNM) leader P. Nedumaran on Sunday denied any designs on the part of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) for a Tamil Rashtram which includes parts of India.
Speaking to reporters here, Nedumaran said all official LTTE literature spoke only of Northern and Eastern Sri Lanka as Eelam. “LTTE has never demanded Greater Eelam, it is a lie, part of consistent anti-LTTE propaganda. When the Indian government banned the organisation, our lawyers asked them to prove that LTTE wanted any part of India in their country and they could not do so,” he contended.
Nedumaran said the Indian government should lift the ban on LTTE and ridiculed any connection between Veerappan, the Tamil nationalist groups with him and LTTE. “Even I am just a supporter of LTTE, I do not have any direct links with them,” he claimed.
Nedumaran said the Tamil people had felt exactly like the Kannadigas about the release of Rajkumar from Veerappan’s clutches. However, when questioned if the Tamil Nadu public wanted Veerappan to be pardoned for his crimes, he declared: “Of course.” The TNM leader said he was willing go into the forests again and talk to Veerappan, if the governments of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu decide to offer him general amnesty.
But he categorically ruled out helping the Special Task Force (STF) to find the brigand, saying “It is not my duty to do so.” Questioned if Veerappan was still in the forest, Nedumaran deflected it with an “I don’t know. Please ask the STF chief about it.” Nedumaran said the people in the villages of the Satyamangalam area were terrified of coming out of their homes, now that the STF was patrolling the area. “The Scheduled Tribe people in the forests are also living in the same atmosphere of fear,” he added.
The TNM leader denied that there was any “deal” in securing the release of Rajkumar. “We explained the humanitarian considerations to Veerappan and he released him. That’s all,” he declared.
Nedumaran and his fellow emissaries Puduvai Sugumaran and Kalyani said all the 13 demands of Veerappan including the unhindered flow of the Cauvery river to Tamil Nadu and the introduction of Tamil as a second administrative language in Karnataka had their support.
“The Indian Constitution itself says any place with a linguistic minority which comprises 15 per cent of the population has to have that as its second language. We have a government order in TN which gives Telugu this status,” Nedumaran claimed. He said the CMs of both the states had very effectively answered all of Veerappan’s demands. “We hope the remaining ones will be fulfilled through talks between them. I also urge the Karnataka government to unveil the Thiruvalluvar statue at the earliest,” he added. On the TNM, Nedumaran said it was a political party registered with their state election commission.
Times of India / 08.01.2001.