Ilankai Tamil Sangam

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Association of Tamils of Sri Lanka in the USA

Tamil Nadu’s TESO Conference re Sri Lanka

The August 12 TESO conference in Chennai, Tamil Nadu was convened by ex-Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, whose party is currently a member of the central Indian government’s UPA ruling coalition, to bring attention to issues of Tamils on the island of Sri Lanka.  The conference passed 14 resolutions on such concerns as livelihood, language, refugees, war crimes and the militarization of Tamil areas.  One called for the United Nations to hold a referendum for Tamils in Sri Lanka to decide their political future.  Another thanked the nations that supported the UNHRC resolution on Sri Lanka and requested active follow up and the appointment of an overseeing agency. The resolutions in both English and Tamil alternating can be viewed here.

TESO Tamil Eelam Supporters Organisation August 8 2012 conference Karunanidhi VBK Chennai YMCA Tamil Nadu Sri LankaAt the conference "Karunandhi called for 'short, medium and long-term solutions' to redress the plight of Sri Lankan Tamils, who he alleged continued to face repression at the hands of the Sinhala regime."[1]

Members of other parties, including the Lok Janshakti Party and the VCK, and politicians from overseas, including members of the parliaments of Nigeria, Sweden and Malaysia, attended the conference. Several NGOs such as Amnesty sent representatives. Sri Lanka refused exit permission to invited Tamil politicians from that island.

The Tamil Eelam Supporters' Organisation was formed by Karunanidhi in 1985 but went into abeyance as the Sri Lankan war heated up.  ‘Eelam Tamils’ are those who are originally from the island of Sri Lanka and ‘Tamil Eelam’ refers to the traditional Tamil homeland on the island comprising the current Northern and Eastern Provinces.  Karunanidhi is reviving the organization to continue to address the issues of Eelam Tamils following the end of the war.
[1] Deccan Chronicle, August 13, 2012

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