(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –Issuing a condolence message on the demise of veteran Indian politician Muthuvel Karunanidhi, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said that the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) Party Leader and former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Karunanidhi played a leading role in strengthening social relations between South India and Sri Lanka.
“The cooperation he rendered in widening diplomatic relations between the two countries should be remembered. Karunanidhi will be remembered forever by the people in Tamil Nadu for his immeasurable service. I convey my deepest sympathies on behalf of all Sri Lankans for the bereaved, on his passing,” Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said, adding “Muthuvel Karunanidhi was a respected politician who served Tamil Nadu as its chief minister as well as the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam party leader. Throughout his political career that spanned over eight decades, M. Karunanidhi won the hearts of people both in Tamil Nadu and India.”
“His role in society and politics started at a young age. At the age-of-14, he was already involved in social movements against the caste system in Hinduism and later, gave a voice to the movement through his contributions in the official newspaper of the Justice Party. In addition to politics, he made a significant contribution to Tamil literature and the Tamil film industry.
“He was a person who valued religious and communal harmony and I would like to mention an important statement he made that outlined his interest in Buddhism at the occasion of his swearing in as the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister on 13 May, 2006.
“Most of his supporters encouraged him to change the date of his taking of oaths as the 13th was believed to be an inauspicious day.
“The Vesak procession organised by the Maha Bodhi Society of Sri Lanka in Chennai, was to be held on the same day, but he was firm in his decision to take his oath on 13 May, mentioning that if the Vesak procession was to be held on that day, it would not be an inauspicious day for him to take his oath,” the statement added.