With Sri Lankan army making a final push into LTTE's last stronghold in the north of the island nation, the Sri Lankan Tamils issue which remained dormant ever since the assassination of late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi by the Tigers in 1991 is once again taking the centre stage of Tamil Nadu politics.
As the Tigers battled to retain their hold in Killinochi, their administrative headquarters, the ruling and opposition parties here are vying with each other accusing the island government of 'killing innocent Tamils' and demanding the Centre's intervention to resolve the vexed ethnic issue.
For the first time in 17 years, the Tamil Nadu government has convened an all-party meeting on the issue in Chennai on October 14 to urge the Centre to take further steps to work for a peaceful settlement to end the conflict and to pressure the Sri Lankan government to stop civilian deaths.
Chief Minister M Karunanidhi in a press release on Thursday said the meeting would also discuss ways to mitigate the sufferings of Sri Lankan Tamils and formulate a plan to press the Centre to take more actions to prevent the 'genocide of Tamils' in Sri Lanka.
However, his arch-rival and AIADMK leader Jayalalithaa and MDMK chief Vaiko, a vocal supporter of the LTTE, have dismissed the initiative as an "eye-wash" and said their parties would boycott the meeting. Incidentally, Vaiko was imprisoned under POTA for 17 months for his open support to LTTE during the previous Jayalalithaa regime.
The Tamils issue assumed political significance as the parties in the state gear up for the next Lok Sabha polls.