Foreign secretary Menon’s trip to Lanka important: Karunanidhi

January 16th, 2009 - 9:16 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghChennai, Jan 16 (IANS) Foreign secretary Shivshankar Menon’s ongoing Colombo trip to solve the ethnic minority’s tangle in Sri Lanka is important from a Tamil Nadu perspective, Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi said here Friday.”Foreign secretary Shivshankar Menon’s trip is important from Tamil Nadu’s perspective and a serious attempt to solve the Tamil ethnic minority’s issue in Sri Lanka. The centre’s moves in the matter will be keenly watched in the state as much more needs to be done,” Karunanidhi said in a statement.

“… the centre’s failure to send External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee to the island on a similar mission, as demanded by us since December, however disappoints us,” Karunanidhi added.

All members of parliament from Tamil Nadu had threatened to resign en masse following an all-party meeting in October last year demanding immediate cessation of the civil war in Sri Lanka.

All the parties backtracked after a subsequent visit by Pranab Mukherjee the same month days before the expiry of the deadline.

Delegations of parliamentarians and legislators from Tamil Nadu - the latter led by Karunanidhi met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in early December. Singh had then promised to send Mukherjee on a mission to Sri Lanka.

The Sri Lankan military had intensified attacks on strongholds of the banned Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam since October last year.

The LTTE has been fighting for a separate Tamil homeland since 1983 that has left over 80,000 persons dead.

Sri Lanka is separated from Tamil Nadu by a narrow strip of sea called Palk Strait.

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