The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi has said that he had tried to go to Sri Lanka several times in the past to see the situation for himself, but his efforts were stalled by the Sri Lankan and Indian governments.
"I tried to go to Sri Lanka several times. But I couldn't. This was because the Sri Lankan government refused to give me permission," Karunanidhi told a group of Sri Lankan Tamil refugee students in Chennai on Thursday.
"Because of the trouble there, I was told that it was not good to go there. The government here (in India) also stopped me," the Colombo-based Tamil language daily Thinakkural quoted him as saying.
"Once I told Indira Gandhi (Indian Prime Minister in the early 1980s) about my intention to go. She even offered to make the arrangements and asked me if I would go. But the unrest in Sri Lanka was worse than what it is now. Therefore, that attempt also failed," he recalled.
Karunanidhi said that his association with the Sri Lankan Tamils was reflected in his novels.
A well known Tamil writer, he had written two novels Pudhayal and Paayum Puli Pandara Vanniyan set in Sri Lanka.