World Tamil Conference postponed

World Tamil Conference postponed

The postponement was decided at a high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, to discuss the preparations for the World Tamil meet to be held after a 14-year gap.

Senior Cabinet ministers and Tamil scholars, including Prof V C Kulandaisamy, participated in the meeting, which unanimously felt that more time was required for Tamil scholars the world over to prepare solid and meaningful papers on the Tamil language and culture to be presented at the conclave, and to enable a larger contingent of Tamil scholars from different parts of the globe to attend the conference.

The meeting at the Centre for Tamil Classicial Language here promptly agreed to postpone the conclave to June-July 2010, an official release said.

The DMK government’s decision assumes significance in the backdrop of opposition AIADMK leader Jayalalitha flaying the ruling DMK for “unilaterally” going ahead to hold the mega-event, without consulting the International Tamil Reserach Institute, the appropriate body to hold the World Tamil meet as it had done in the past.

Meanwhile, in another significant development, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar of the Art of Living Foundation (AOL) has appreciated Karunanidhi’s efforts to get the Centre to grant Indian citizenship for about one lakh Sri Lankan Tamil refugees staying in various camps in Tamil Nadu.

Karunanidhi had made the demand at the DMK’s “Mupperum Vizha” conference at Kancheepuram on Saturday. Political parties in the State have been maintaining a studious silence over the DMK patriarch's demand so far, fraught with political complexities for the Central Government.

Nonetheless, expressing happiness at the chief minister’s earnestness about this issue,  Ravi Shankar in a statement issued here said: “The Art of Living Foundation has been campaigning for this, and we have already collected over a lakh of signatures from the Tamil people in support of this issue.We were about to bring this to the chief minister’s attention,” he said.

But in view of Karunanidhi’s decision, the foundation will terminate its signature campaign, he added.