Only democratic solution to Sri Lankan problem: Rahul (Lead)

May 8th, 2009 - 7:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Rahul Gandhi Sivaganga (Tamil Nadu), May 8 (IANS) Civilians in Sri Lanka need to be protected and any solution to the island nation’s problem will have to come through the democratic way, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi said here Friday.
“The civilians in Sri Lanka haven’t harmed anybody and they need to be protected. If there has to be a solution to the Sri Lankan problem then it has to come through democratic means,” Gandhi said at an election rally in support of the party’s candidate and union Home Minister P. Chidambaram.

He said: “The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government did whatever that had to be done for the Sri Lankan Tamils like sending union ministers and other assistance. The Indian government will do whatever is needed to protect the Tamil civilians.”

He also said Tamils have a special and large place in the hearts of his family members and it is important to protect “our brothers” in Sri Lanka.

“Tamils living all over the world - in the US, Europe and Sri Lanka - have a special place in our hearts.”

Listing out the achievements of the UPA government, like farm debt waiver, employment guarantee schemes and promoting self help groups, Gandhi said: “We have given thousands of crores of rupees for the development of Tamil Nadu. The central government’s first decision was to sanction setting up of a desalination plant in the state.”

Referring to his visits to Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, the Congress leader said he will visit Tamil Nadu regularly after the elections.

The Lok Sabha elections in Tamil Nadu for its 39 seats, and for Puducherry’s lone seat will be held May 13.

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