CHENNAI: State’s political leaders condoled the death of Singapore’s revered leader Lee Kuan Yew, claiming him as their own, one who supported the liberation struggle of Eelam and condemned the Sri Lankan government for committing genocide.
DMK leader M Karunanidhi recalled Lee’s support for Tamils and said the Singapore leader had asserted that Tamils in Sri Lanka would attain their goal of a free nation. The DMK leader also said Lee was behind the declaration of Tamil as one of the three national languages of Singapore.
PMK founder S Ramadoss in his message said Lee was concerned about the rights and security of Tamils in Singapore. Lee opined the only solution to the Sri Lankan problem was the formation of a separate homeland for Tamils.
MDMK leader Vaiko said Lee was a model statesman and had great affection for the Tamil people. He openly declared that Sinhalese fascism was trying to annihilate Tamils in the island and declared that it was nothing but genocide. Lee also understood the necessity of the armed struggle by the LTTE and said it countered the genocide.
Tamil Maanila Congress, GK Vasan, said Lee was responsible for ensuring that the Tamils of Singapore were included in the mainstream of society and made it a point to include members of the Tamil community in the administration. Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi leader Thol Thirumavalavan said Lee had openly described former Lankan president Rajapaksa as a Sinhala chauvinist and opined that Lanka would develop like Malaysia and Singapore if Tamil Eelam had separated from Sri Lanka. He was responsible for protecting the minority Tamils in Singapore, the VCK leader said.
Political leaders in Tamil Nadu condoled the death of former Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew, saying that the Tamils across the world have lost a good friend.
“He brought together various nationalities—Tamils, Malaysians and Chinese—and made Tamil one of the official languages,” said DMK leader M. Karurunanidhi.
Recalling the grand reception offered by Lee Kuan Yew when DMK founder Anna visited Singapore in 1965, Mr. Karunanidhi said the Singapore leader also enjoyed the speech made by Anna.
PMK leader S. Ramadoss said Lee Kuan Yew always insisted on granting Sri Lankan Tamils their rights and described as ethnic cleansing their killing while Indian leaders sought to portray their struggle as an act of terrorism.
“He maintained only a separate country could deliver Tamils from the clutches of Sinhalese hegemony and did not hesitate to call former President Mahinda Rajapaksa as terrorist,” said Dr Ramadoss.
MDMK general secretary Vaiko said Lee Kuan Yew, who had loved the Tamils in his country, had understood the just demands of the Sri Lankan Tamils and drew the world’s attention towards their struggle.
“He openly condemned Mahinda Rajapaksa and reiterated that Tamils were the original citizens of Sri Lanka. He also justified the armed struggle of the LTTE on the ground that it was against the majority Singhalese’s attempt to wipe out the Tamils,” he said.