laments over lack of political solution for Sri Lankan Tamils
by T.Ramakrishnan, K.V.Prasad
The first World Classical Tamil Conference here came to an end on Sunday with Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi announcing a plan of action for Tamil promotion and development.
Delivering the valedictory address of the five-day conference, Mr. Karunanidhi said a Rs.100-crore fund would be established for Tamil development. This would be a follow-up to the “good work” done at the meet.
The Chief Minister said efforts would be taken for translating well-known Tamil works into other Indian, Asian and European languages. Significant works of other languages would also be translated to Tamil. The government would create “genetic heritage gardens” in five distinct zones of the State as spelt out in the Sangam poetry.
Noting the presence of Union Ministers for Finance and Home Affairs Pranab Mukherjee and P. Chidambaram on the occasion, the Chief Minister appealed to the Centre to extend financial assistance for a number of initiatives announced by him.
The proposed Tholkappiyar Classical Tamil Sangam at Madurai would take efforts for conducting the World Classical Tamil Conference periodically. Referring to the 15-year long gap in holding a mega Tamil meet, he assured people that this would not recur. On the Sri Lankan Tamils question, Mr. Karunanidhi said no political solution had been found so far. “This is a matter of pain and deep concern to lakhs and lakhs of world Tamils who have gathered at this World Classical Tamil Conference.”
He called for a detailed plan to carry out marine archaeological research on the mythical Kumari continent and Poompuhar. He reiterated his request made earlier to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for locating the proposed Indian National Institute of Epigraphy in Chennai.
Presiding over the function, Mr. Mukherjee expressed the hope that lessons from the conference would inspire many more accomplishments in future.
Describing the Chief Minister as a man of perfection, he commended him and the State government for the successful conduct of the Conference. Referring to the popular response to three exhibitions held as part of the WCTC, he said this was evident in the fact that the duration of the exhibitions was extended by a week.
Mr. Chidambaram wanted Tamil books to be published in different disciplines such as science, law, economics and geology. He suggested that at least 100 titles be published in such disciplines, for which a sum of Rs. 10 lakh would be required by authors and publishers for each title. Totally, Rs. 10 crore would be needed and this was not a big amount for the State government.
The Union Minister requested the Chief Minister to ensure that the amount was set apart. Mr Karunanidhi, in his address, responded to his suggestion positively.