Karunanidhi calls for end to hostilities in Sri Lanka

November 7th, 2008 - 9:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghChennai, Nov 7 (IANS) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi altered his stand on the issue of Tamils in Sri Lanka Friday and called for cessation of hostilities from both the warring sides in the island country.”A permanent ceasefire is needed to ensure lasting peace for which a cessation of hostilities from both the sides is an inevitable need. Once the fighting ends, India and other third party mediators can ensure that the Tamil minority in the island is accorded adequate rights to exist honourably,” Karunanidhi said in a statement.

The opposition in the state saw this as a clear departure from the ruling DMK’s earlier stand which faulted only the Sri Lankan government and indirectly supported the banned Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

“This dilution of the DMK’s stand is obviously due to pressure from the Congress which props up the the minority regime in Tamil Nadu. Now the DMK is saying the same thing against the LTTE as the Sinhalese chauvinists in Colombo are saying, repeated by those in New Delhi,” said a spokesman of the opposition MDMK.

Meanwhile, MDMK leader Vaiko reiterated his charges against the centre and the state. He spoke to reporters in Madurai 400 km south of here after meeting movie directors Seeman and Ameer who were released on conditional bail after being jailed on charges of sedition.

“(Prime Minister) Dr. Manmohan Singh is directly responsible for masterminding, arming, financing and aiding the military offensive against the minority Tamils in Sri Lanka,” he said.

“Since the DMK regime is part of the United Progressive Alliance coalition at the centre, Chief Minister Karunanidhi cannot escape the opprobrium in this matter. Worse, he has begun parroting the identical stands of the centre and Colombo against those fighting for the rights of the Tamils in Sri Lanka,” Vaiko said.

Meanwhile Selvaperunthagai, a Dalit legislator, told reporters that he would resign from the assembly membership to press for the cause of the “suffering Tamils in Sri Lanka”.

“While I appreciate the steps initiated by Chief Minister Karunanidhi, I also think that some proactive action needs to be taken to register our protest against Sri Lanka in support of the suffering Tamils,” the legislator said in a village in Cuddalore district, 280 km south of here.

Though Selvaperunthagai ruled out joining other political parties, sources close to Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi leader Thol Thirumavalavan said the legislator was likely to join the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) following intra-party differences.

The issue is likely to trigger a stormy winter session of the state assembly starting Monday.

Speaker R. Auvudaiyappan denied receiving any resignation from any legislator and said so far there were no notices of a no-confidence motion against the government.

The business advisory committee would meet on the first day to decide the span of the session. Ordinances on value added tax, creation of a Greater Chennai police district and reservations for religious minorities are scheduled to be replaced by regular laws during the ensuing sitting, the speaker added.

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