AIADMK chief Jayalalitha on Monday reiterated her demand for an independent Tamil Eelam in Sri Lanka, even as Colombo announced the end of its combat operations against the Tamil Tigers and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi called off his fast.
"I am not calling for any separate nation to be carved out of Indian territory. I am a patriot to the core and I do not need (Congress leader) Kapil Sibal to teach me lessons in patriotism. I have stated that a separate Tamil Eelam should be carved out in Sri Lanka," Jayalalitha said in a statement.
Jayalalitha had said Saturday that a separate Tamil Eelam in Sri Lanka was the only solution to decades old ethnic strife, prompting union minister Sibal to label her demand as "anti-national and irresponsible".
"To form a separate Eelam, vote for the AIADMK-led alliance," she had said at an election meeting in Salem.
On Monday, the former Tamil Nadu chief minister said: "The legal luminary (Sibal) has got his facts mixed up. I have opposed terrorism (regardless of their belonging to) militant outfits in the guise of a freedom struggle or repressive, multi-polar violence or genocide unleashed by a government."
More than 300,000 Tamils in this senseless war, she said, had been living in Sri Lanka as refugees in their own land without proper housing, food or medication.
"I had demanded cessation of hostilities in Sri Lanka and (its going) beyond a mere ceasefire and address the genuine problems of the Tamil people (that included) demarcation of the Tamil-dominated territory and devolution of power within the constitutional framework of Sri Lanka," Jayalalitha pointed out.
"(Since) the Sri Lankan government is not prepared to implement any of these processes (and as it has) chosen to dismiss similar calls from the UN, the US, Britain and most countries barring China, the only way out is to carve out a separate state of Tamil Eelam," she added.
DMK chief Karunanidhi on Monday went on a hunger strike in support of a ceasefire in Sri Lanka but ended it after Colombo said it was calling off "combat operations" against the Tamil Tigers.