DMK MPs will not insist on resignation, Karunanidhi assures Mukherjee (Lead)

October 26th, 2008 - 10:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Oct 26 (IANS) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi Sunday assured External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee that his party’s MPs will not insist on quitting parliament following the talks between New Delhi and Colombo on the civilian suffering in Sri Lanka.”Karunanidhi has assured (me) that the DMK will not precipitate the issue,” Mukherjee told reporters after a three-hour meeting with the chief minister here.

The DMK chief too told reporters soon afterwards: “I will certainly not create a problem for the central government.”

“Conditions to start peaceful, political negotiations do not seem to have serious impediments at present. However, obviously a 40-year-old problem cannot be sorted out in four days,” he added commenting on the aspects of a ceasefire between the warring Sri Lankan Army and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

A meeting of the DMK and its allies this month resolved that all MPs from Tamil Nadu would resign if India failed to convince Sri Lanka to call off its military offensive against the Tamil Tigers. Tamil Nadu leaders say the fighting has seriously affected Tamil civilians in Sri Lanka’s north.

Mukherjee said: “India will not insist on a ceasefire between the Sri Lankan Army and the LTTE as we are not signatories to the ceasefire agreement. Attempts will be made to ensure a resolution of the issue through peaceful political process and negotiations.”

According to Mukherjee, Sri Lanka has agreed to allow humanitarian aid supplies under the auspices of international agencies like the Red Cross, United Nations and from Indian government.

To avoid casualties due to actions of Sri Lankan security personnel, Indian fishermen and their boats will carry IDs issued by the state government and avoid mutually agreed sensitive areas, he added.

Admitting that India supplied a few “non-lethal” equipment to the island’s government, Mukherjee said senior personnel of various nations’ armies were routinely trained in Indian military academies.

“This is a routine exercise and our officers visit such academies all over the world. Some of the defence equipment (supplied to Sri Lanka) have a role in defending our vital installations in south India as well,” Mukherjee pointed out.

Earlier in the day, Mukherjee held talks with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s advisor Basil Rajapaksa in New Delhi.

Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram told journalists that India always helped the Tamil minority in Sri Lanka.

“India has always helped the Tamil minority’s quest for more powers in the island. Accusing us of arming Sri Lanka’s military is wrong because that is being done by China and Pakistan,” he observed.

“The Sri Lankan government should give more powers to the Tamil minority so that they can live honourably,” Chidambaram added.

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