India has always helped Lankan Tamils: Chidambaram

October 26th, 2008 - 4:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Karaikudi (Tamil Nadu), Oct 26 (IANS) Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram Sunday asserted that India has always helped the Tamil minority’s struggle for more powers in Sri Lanka and denied arming the island’s military establishment.”While 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,” Chidambaram told reporters here.

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

He also slammed moves by a few regional parties to use the issue to foment trouble in India.

“Attempts to support separatist moves in Sri Lanka, backing (Tamil Tiger Chief Vellupillai) Prabhakaran and the use of that cause to foment secessionism in India will not help the Tamil minority or solve their problems,” Chidambaram added.

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee is due to visit Chennai later in the day to brief Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi on the talks held with Sri Lanka’s special envoy Basil Rajapakse in Delhi Sunday.

All the 16 MPs belonging to the ruling DMK have handed over their post-dated resignations, said to take effect Oct 29 if the central government did not initiate effective steps to stop the alleged killings of Tamil civilians by the Sri Lankan Army.

A massive 60-km long DMK-sponsored human chain protest was held here Friday with participation from almost all political parties barring the main opposition AIADMK and the Congress.

While the 16 DMK MPs, including seven ministers, are the mainstays of the United Progressive Alliance coalition at the centre, the Congress with 35 legislators is its main ally in Tamil Nadu - propping up the regime which has only 95 legislators in a 235-member house.

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