Tamil Nadu opposition wants more steps to help Lankan Tamils

November 3rd, 2008 - 10:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghChennai, Nov 3 (IANS) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi Monday underlined the steps the state and central governments have taken to alleviate the sufferings of Sri Lankan Tamils but the opposition charged them of not doing enough for the ethnic minority caught in violence in the island nation. Karunanidhi penned an emotional poem exhorting people of the state to provide more relief and to ignore those who faulted the serious efforts to send out succour to the suffering Tamils of Sri Lanka.

He also listed the steps taken by the state and central governments to focus the world’s attention on the Tamil minority in the island and the fruitful response from the Sri Lankan government.

However, AIADMK chief and Leader of Opposition J. Jayalalitha and actor-turned-politician Vijaykanth questioned the logistics of relief reaching the Tamil minority in Sri Lanka, given the restrictions on movements of international organisations like International Red Cross in the war-torn northern part of the island.

“The state government has forced its employees to cough up a day’s salary without permission as relief money apparently for the Lankan Tamils in an obvious attempt to help the banned LTTE without having any plans for its effective distribution,” Jayalalitha said in a statement.

Vijaykanth said in a separate statement: “The need of the hour is a complete halt to attacks on Tamils - that has not even been attempted by the central government in which the (state’s ruling) DMK here has a considerable stake. Since nobody is sure about the relief reaching the needy Tamils in Sri Lanka, the measure is inadequate. Worse, the groundswell of support to the Tamil minority in the island is slowing down.”

PMK founder-leader S. Ramadoss, whose party is also a member of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), wondered why Prime Minister Manmohan Singh did not insist on a complete halt to the military offensive.

“We cannot believe that Sri Lanka will refuse to heed India if we bluntly request it to stop the military offensive. Instead, unproductive platitudes are being made here by the state government resulting in the slackening of the tempo of anger against the Sinhalese regime,” Ramadoss told reporters during an interaction here.

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