Sri Lankan Tamil MPs in Delhi seeking ceasefireNovember 11th, 2008 - 9:51 am ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Nov 11 (IANS) Two Sri Lankan Tamil MPs sympathetic to the Tamil Tigers are here to meet political leaders as part of their efforts to bring about a ceasefire in their country.N. Srikanth and M.K. Shivajilingam of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) will also take part in a demonstration sponsored by the Communist Party of India (CPI) here Friday in support of a truce in Sri Lanka.
“Our aim is to impress upon (Indian) national political parties that there should be a concerted campaign to induce Sri Lanka to agree to a ceasefire with the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam),” Srikanth told IANS.
This should be a prelude to a resumption of negotiations between Colombo and the LTTE, he added.
The TNA MPs, who arrived from Chennai, have plans to meet leaders of the Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) among others.
Srikanth said the LTTE was “quite serious” about a ceasefire in Sri Lanka, where relief agencies say thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes because of renewed fighting in the island’s north.
He added, however, that despite suffering “some reverses”, the LTTE was far from being militarily defeated.
Srikanth and Shivajilingam said they found in India enormous sympathy for the Tamil people of Sri Lanka.
“We are going to tap on that,” Srikanth said. “There is understanding and sympathy (in India) despite certain historical blunders on the Tamil side.”
The reference was clearly to the assassination of former Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi by a LTTE suicide bomber in 1991 that forced New Delhi to outlaw the Tigers.
Sri Lanka has in recent months twice rejected the LTTE’s offer of a ceasefire. Colombo says it will talk to the LTTE only when the group gives up its weapons.