Sri Lanka issue, price rise to dominate Tamil Nadu assembly proceedings (Lead)

November 10th, 2008 - 12:33 am ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Nov 9 (IANS) The Tamil Nadu assembly session, begining Monday, is expected to witness heated debates as the opposition plans to pin the ruling DMK on various issues, including the Sri Lankan Tamil issue and price rise. The Communist Party of India is planning to move a motion to demand a political dialogue to resolve the conflict in Sri Lanka, a top party official said.

However, PMK founder-leader S. Ramadoss who heads one of the opposition parties here ruled out any move to destabilise the M. Karunanidhi ministry.

“Though we will expose the hollowness of the DMK’s stand on the Lankan Tamils’ issue during the assembly session, the PMK will not support a no-confidence motion against the ruling DMK,” Ramadoss said.

“We want a resolution passed during the ensuing assembly session demanding an immediate ceasefire in Sri Lanka and the central government pressing for it during (Lankan President Mahinda) Rajapaksa’s forthcoming visit on Nov 13,” Ramadoss added.

Meanwhile, the Communist Party of India hailed the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam’s offer for a ceasefire and demanded that the Sri Lankan government respond in kind and immediately halt the military offensive on the island.

“The offer from the LTTE to stop fighting is a welcome move since it will end the present civil war being fought to the detriment of the Tamil minority in the island. The state government needs to understand the issue better and press the centre to do more for the Tamils in Sri Lanka,” CPI state secretary D. Pandian said.

“The sole demand of all Tamils here is a ceasefire and a political dialogue between those being attacked and those involved in an inhuman assault in Sri Lanka. The talks should take place in a peaceful atmosphere of give and take. Our party will move a call attention motion in the ensuing assembly session,” Pandian added.

Speaker R. Auvudaiyappan said Friday that he had not received any notice of a no-confidence motion from any party.

The DMK has 95 MLAs in the 235-member house backed by 35 Congress legislators.

Dravidar Kazhagam leader K. Veeramani endorsed the state government’s endeavours to enforce peace in the island but warned the Sri Lankan regime against continuation of the “assaults” on Tamil civilians.

“The fight of an oppressed people is different from state repression. The Tamil Nadu government’s call for a ceasefire from both the sides is welcome. But, it is also true that the Sri Lankan army is continuing its attacks despite the offer to stop fighting from the LTTE,” Veeramani said in a statement.

Union Minister of State for Statistics and Programme Implementation G.K. Vasan criticised those attacking the central government for “inaction in the Lankan Tamils’ issue”.

“Those who are running a campaign against the centre, alleging inaction on the Lankan Tamils’ issue, don’t have a locus standi or are even correct. Only India’s positive intervention has resulted in attracting international attention to the problem. Moreover, the matter can be solved as per the road map set in 1987 by late prime minister Rajiv Gandhi vide the Indo-Lankan agreement,” Vasan said.

The main opposition AIADMK is planning to concentrate more on local issues like electricity shortages, rising prices and worsening law and order, a legislator said.

Its main ally, the MDMK, in the meanwhile, may take up the issue of the detention of its leaders Vaiko and M. Kannappan on charges of sedition, a spokesman from the party said.

“The stand of the minority DMK is the same as that of the Sri Lankan government, which is inimical to the Tamils. And the same thing is being said by the centre which is arming, aiding and abetting Colombo in its military offensive against the Tamils. We will expose the double game in which the state DMK regime is equally to blame,” the spokesman told IANS.

Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi likened the ceasefire solution of the Sri Lankan Tamil tangle to the exchanging of garlands between couples during marriage.

He was speaking at the marriage function of a DMK party aide earlier in the day.

“Just as a couple unite in matrimony by exchanging garlands, a peaceful dialogue (in Sri Lanka) can result only if both the warring sides agree to a ceasefire on equal terms in preparation for deliberations - like newlyweds,” Karunanidhi said.

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