Tamil Nadu assembly demands truce, talks in Sri Lanka (Roundup)November 12th, 2008 - 10:03 pm ICT by IANS
Chennai, Nov 12 (IANS) The Tamil Nadu assembly Wednesday unanimously passed a resolution urging India to press for talks between the Tamil Tigers and Colombo and also an immediate truce in the island nation.In his concluding remarks after a debate over the resolution, Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi to act on the feelings expressed in the house and take steps to “translate the Tamil quest for a ceasefire into reality”.
“The ceasefire quest of the Tamils is based on the necessity for their peaceful existence in Sri Lanka that should be translated into reality,” Karunanidhi said.
“Let us bury our differences, stand united to press for the unanimous wish of Tamils the world over for an immediate ceasefire to end the hardship of their brethren in Sri Lanka,” he added.
Passed unanimously, the resolution moved by Karunanidhi said: “The Indian government should use its good offices to get the Sri Lankan regime to agree to an immediate ceasefire to alleviate the sufferings of Tamils (in the island’s north) since the other (LTTE) side has offered to do so.
“This house demands the immediate halt of military operations and start (of) political, peaceful negotiations to find a solution to the Tamil question,” it said.
The statement added that “over 70 million agitated and angry Indian Tamils are united (with their brethren in Sri Lanka) and affected by the sad state of affairs.
“The Indian government must make efforts to assure the Tamils in Sri Lanka of the security of their life, property… and an equal (right to) exist (along with the majority Sinhalese),” it pointed out.
“The endeavours of the centre and the state to send relief materials to the suffering Tamils through the auspices of international organisations like the Red Cross and the UN will not alleviate the travails adequately,” it added.
The resolution came as Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa was in New Delhi for an official visit and even as the Sri Lankan military continued its push against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
Meanwhile, 120 members of the Tamil National Movement including its leader P. Nedumaran courted arrest demanding an immediate ceasefire in Sri Lanka and stoppage of Indian weapon supply to the island nation.
A former president of the Tamil Nadu Congress, Nedumaran has been a strong supporter of the Tamil Eelam movement.
Parts of several towns and villages in the state hoisted black flags to protest against the visit of President Rajapaksa.
Meanwhile, a special train carrying over 2,000 students to hold a protest rally in the Indian capital was flagged off in the evening by D. Pandian, state secretary of the Communist Party of India.
“Since forceful oratory in Tamil alone is not enough to make those in New Delhi take notice of the Sri Lankan tangle, students capable of saying the saying the same thing in at least 18 languages are bound for the capital. Their multiple voices will force the United Progressive Alliance to end the killings of the Tamils in Sri Lanka,” Pandian told reporters.
“These students are tearful ambassadors on an endeavour to awaken the nation’s conscience against the inhuman killings in Sri Lanka,” said MDMK leader Vaiko, who also gave the students a send-off.