Karunanidhi reiterates MPs’ resignation threat over Sri Lanka imbroglio (Lead)

October 15th, 2008 - 9:44 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyChennai, Oct 15 (IANS) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi Wednesday reiterated an all-party ultimatum to the central government, saying all the state MPs, including those in the Rajya Sabha, will resign if the killings of Tamils allegedly by Sri Lankan Forces were not stopped. Karunanidhi’s daughter Kanimozhi said in a separate statement that she had handed over her resignation from the Rajya Sabha to her father, also president of the state’s ruling DMK, for an appropriate decision.

“I have done what I believe in and now it is up to the party to take a decision,” Kanimozhi said.

When reporters pressed for a reaction, Karunanidhi enigmatically quipped: “All MPs including the Rajya Sabha from Tamil Nadu will resign if the central government does not fulfil our justifiable requests sent through the forum of an all party resolution in two weeks.”

An all-party meeting Tuesday night had decided that all MPs from the state would resign in two weeks if the central government did not end military aid to Sri Lanka and ensured the declaration of a ceasefire in the Sri Lankan civil war that has left over 70,000 dead since 1983.

The Congress, whose former president and late former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) cadre, also agreed to the resignation threat, the party’s state unit president K.V. Thangkabalu clarified Wednesday.

“The Congress is part of the Democratic Progressive Alliance led by the chief minister and all the parties that attended the meeting yesterday (Tuesday) have unanimously agreed to do our bit for alleviating the suffering of the Sri Lankan Tamils,” Thangkabalu said.

“Our late leader Rajiv Gandhi made the supreme sacrifice in 1991 for the cause of the Sri Lankan Tamils. While we are for an honourable settlement of the issue peacefully by Gandhian methods, our stand that such a solution should be as per the terms of the India-Sri Lanka accord of 1997,” Thangkabalu added.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Ila Ganeshan told reporters separately that the DMK had been silent on the issue for four years and had woken up suddenly only because of ensuing general elections.

“The BJP has condemned the killings in Sri Lanka several times in resolutions passed in its national council meets. The DMK, on the other hand maintained a silence for long years as part of the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) coalition in the centre. What it is doing now is only sabre rattling for the benefit of voters,” Ganeshan said.

Leader of Opposition J. Jayalalitha of AIADMK faulted Karunanidhi for interfering in the internal affairs of a sovereign neighbouring nation.

“The statement issued by the government after the farcical all-party meeting apparently drums up support for the LTTE. Interference in the internal affairs of other neighbouring nations would invite similar moves against India,” Jayalalitha said.

MDMK chief Vaiko, a staunch ally of the AIADMK, demanded that India cut off diplomatic relations with the neighbouring island with immediate effect.

“Since the suffering Tamils of Eelam who are being subjected to a genocide for over 30 years have cultural umbilical chords with India, we should immediately cut off diplomatic links with the killer regime,” Vaiko said in a statement.

Parties with representation in parliament that attended the all-party meeting Tuesday include the two Left parties, the PMK and the MDMK, which are arrayed against the state’s ruling alliance.

Political observers, however, did not attach much significance to the threat.

“The whole thing is a ruse to strengthen the weakened base of the ruling DMK following the exit of the PMK and the Left from the DPA and nothing more. One can safely expect the extension of the two-week deadline next,” political commentator Cho S. Ramaswamy told IANS.

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