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Karunanidhi renews demand on SL issue
Published on 14 Nov. 2008 10:08 PM IST
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Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi Friday insisted on a political road map to end Sri Lanka’s ethnic conflict, saying India needed to take pro-active measures to end the strife. The chief minister also offered the resignations of DMK ministers from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s United Progressive Alliance (UPA) cabinet to force India to act. “Neither the DMK nor other parties are heartless enough to ignore the sufferings of Tamils in the neighbourhood and cling to power. To press for an immediate ceasefire in Sri Lanka, our ministers in the central cabinet will quit if needed,” Karunanidhi told the state assembly. “The centre should analyse (Sri) Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s attempts to fool India by the bisection of the Tamils’ issue in the island as a terrorist problem to be dealt with militarily (on the one hand) and offer to safeguard minority civilians (on the other). We should demand a road map for a political negotiation and its aftermath,” he pointed out. “Our Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should point out to Rajapaksa that several nations (including) India, Pakistan, the US and Britain do not bomb their citizens despite facing (issues of) terrorism,” Karunanidhi added on the last day of the winter session of the state assembly. Karunanidhi’s comments came a day after Rajapaksa told Manmohan Singh in New Delhi that while he was willing to safeguard Tamil civilians, he would not halt the war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Earlier there were sharp exchanges between the treasury and opposition benches. Congress members alleged that some regional parties were indirectly but openly supporting the “enemies of the nation” under the garb of sympathising with Sri Lankan Tamils. The LTTE has been outlawed in India since the 1991 assassination of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi. AIADMK deputy leader O. Panneerselvam raised queries about the DMK’s future plans after its earlier “ambitious moves” on the issue failed to bring peace in Sri Lanka.

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