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North-East responds to Karunanidhi's passing away

As the funeral of the DMK leader and the former five-term chief minister of Tamil Nadu, M Karunanidhi takes place in Tamil Nadu today, politicians in the North-East paid tribute, commemorating his achievements to the Tamil language and arts. 

Sentiments remain mixed however among Eelam Tamils, with many expressing regret and criticism of Mr Karunanidhi's stance on the Eelam Tamil struggle during his later years. 

"The Tamil speaking world is sorrowful," the chief minister of the Northern Province, C V Wigneswaran said in statement published today. 

"In the Tamil people's view, we are in a position that we cannot forget him because of the work he did and achievements he made for Tamil politics, Tamil arts and literature."

"He always gave a voice for the rights of Tamil people in Sri Lanka through out our struggle. However, our people still regret that he, as then Chief Minister, did not bring more pressure on the Indian government to avoid the unfolding Mullaivaikkal genocide in May 2009. 

The Jaffna daily, the Uthayan reported that fireworks were lit by locals in Mullaitivu to celebrate his demise. They accused him of abandoning the Eelam Tamils and their struggle for liberation, and allowing the massacre at the end of the armed conflict to take place. 

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) echoed the praise of his cultural and literary contributions. 

"He took an active interest in Eelam Tamils problems," the TNA leader, R Sampanthan said in his statement, praising what he described as Mr Karunanidhi's efforts in relaying the Eelam Tamils' sorrows and woes to the Indian government.