Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam president and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi on Sunday demanded that the central government accept Tamil as an official language.
He also demanded a stronger Indian intervention in Sri Lanka to protect the Tamils facing the Sinhalese wrath in the neighbouring island nation.
The DMK patriarch reiterated these demands on the concluding day of the five-day World Classical Tamil Congress in this textile city.
It was clear that the two issues would be highlighted by the DMK during the party’s campaign for the assembly elections due next year.
Demanding a higher status for the state’s language, Karunanidhi in his valedictory address said, “Tamil should be made an official language at the Centre. This has been a long-standing claim of the Tamils.”
His utterance was greeted with a resounding response by the mammoth gathering, estimated at more than 100,000 by security personnel. He also reiterated the demand that Tamil be made the language of the Madras High Court, a resolution for which was passed by the state assembly in 2006 and sent to the Centre.
The concluding session of the conference was attended by Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Union Home Minister P Chidambaram.