Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on Thursday said the Sri Lankan government should treat Tamils and LTTE supremo V Prabhakaran with respect and dignity even if the militant outfit loses in the ongoing battle against the army in the island nation.
Tamils in the island republic should be treated with self-respect, honour and dignity and also given a share in power as envisaged in 1987 Indo-Sri Lankan accord, he told a rally here to press for cessation of hostilities in the island nation.
"Even if Prabhakaran loses, treat him like Porus," the DMK patriarch said, pointing to the historical episode involving Alexander the Great and Indian ruler Porus who was treated with dignity and honour by the Greek emperor despite losing against him in a battle.
"When asked by Alexander, Porus said he wanted to be treated like a king, which Alexander duly obliged. "It shows the magnanimity of Alexander who gave equal respect (to a man defeated by him)," he said.
The rally was organised by DMK and attended by all its allies, including Congress, as Sri Lankan government troops advanced to capture the last areas held by LTTE.
The DMK patriarch cautioned Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse against any intention of "annihilating" the Tamil race in the offensive, saying if he did so, "history would never forgive him."