‘1987 Indo-Sri Lanka pact only solution to Tamil problem’

November 9th, 2008 - 5:51 pm ICT by IANS  

img src=”http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/images/Bharatiya Janata Party/in}bjp.jpg” hspace=”5″ vspace=”5″ alt=”Bharatiya Janata Party” title=”Bharatiya Janata Party” align=”right” Chennai, Nov 9 (IANS) Tamil Nadu Congress president K.V. Thangkabalu Sunday said that the Tamil minority’s problems in the neighbouring island can only be resolved by applying the terms of an accord signed between India and Sri Lanka in 1987.”The only solution to the long-pending Lankan Tamil people’s issues can be through the application of the accord signed between (former Indian) prime minister Rajiv Gandhi and (former Sri Lankan) president J.R. Jayewardene in 1987. And this will be possible (only) after the warring sides cease fighting,” Thangkabalu said.

The pact was signed by Gandhi and Jayewardene for devolution of powers to the Tamil minority. But the accord failed after increase in hostilities between Indian troops and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealem (LTTE), which is fighting for a separate Tamil homeland in Sri Lanka.

The announcement by Thangkabalu came within hours after the LTTE political head Natesan told a television channel that his outfit was ready for a ceasefire to avoid the killings of innocent Tamils in Sri Lanka.

Thangkabalu expressed his opinion after meeting Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi at the latter’s residence. Thangkabalu handed over a cheque of Rs.500,000 to the chief minister for relief to the Tamils in Sri Lanka.

“The central and state governments are sending relief materials to Sri Lanka to be distributed through the International Red Cross and the UN to alleviate the sufferings of the Tamils in the northern part of the island,” Thangkabalu added.

Meanwhile, over 500 television artistes and technicians began a day-long hunger-strike here Sunday demanding “an end to the killings in Sri Lanka”. The protest began with a speech by Bharatiya Janata Party national secretary and Rajya Sabha member S. Thirunaavukkarasar.

This is the fourth major protest by the entertainment industry in recent weeks.

The first was a demonstration in Rameshwaram Oct 19, followed by hunger strikes in Chennai by movie stars and technicians respectively on Nov 1 and Nov 5.

Two film directors, Ameer and Seeman, were arrested for making seditious speeches.

Similar speeches, protesting the alleged killing of Tamils in Sri lanka, by opposition MDMK leaders Vaiko and M. Kannappan also led to them being jailed for a fortnight on charges of sedition.

India’s External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee has ruled out any effort by the Indian government to initiate a ceasefire in Sri Lanka after a visit by Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s special envoy and younger brother Basil Rajapaksa in late October.

President Rajapaksa is due to visit New Delhi later this month to explain Colombo’s stand to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

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