Lankan Tamils, fishermen, Sethusamudram dominate DMK manifesto

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Chennai, Mar 11: Promising to espouse the cause of Tamils living the world over, DMK today promised to press the Centre to take steps for conducting a referendum among Tamils in Lanka for their homeland and to appoint only Tamil envoys to nations which have a sizeable diaspora.

In its election manifesto released by its chief Karunanidhi today, DMK promised to urge the Centre to find a permanent political solution for Tamils in Lanka and to press for implementation of provisions of 13th Constitutional amendment in the Island.

Sticking to its demand for implementation of the contentious Sethusamudram project, which it claimed would promote economic development in southern Tamil Nadu, DMK said it would create a congenial atmosphere to again begin the work by expediting disposal of case pending before apex court on the issue.

While vowing to redeem Katchatheevu, an islet off TN coast ceded to Lanka by India in 1976, DMK also promised to work for resettlement of Lankan refugees in India, after ascertaining their willingness.

Citing the examples of Karnataka and Kerala, DMK promised to include the fishing community in the Scheduled Tribe (ST) list and to create a separate Ministry at the Centre to protect their interests and threats from other countries. As for the marginalised and minorities, DMK said it was for 30 per cent reservation for women in central government jobs, proper implementation of reservation in PSUs for the differently-abled, recognition of transgenders as third gender and expansion of self-respect (inter-caste) marriages and Periyar 'Samathuvapuram' (an all caste residential settlement) across the country.

DMK also promised to press the Centre to make official languages of all states as Centre's official languages and further press for making Tamil as the court language in the Madras High Court. The Karunanidhi-led party also sought inter-linking of rivers across the country.

In tune with its chief Karunanidhi's stance, the party also vowed the abolish capital punishment, like 150 nations of the world. DMK, which is also contesting in the neighbouring Union Territory of Puducherry, said it would fight for full-fledged statehood to the erstwhile French colony. 

PTI

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