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I can't sleep when I think of Lankan Tamils, says TN CM

October 18, 2008 15:08 IST

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Welcoming Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's [Images] statements favouring a negotiated settlement to end the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka [Images], Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi has said the remarks raised hopes of the Centre taking steps to halt Lankan troops' offensive against Tamils in LTTE-held areas.

The DMK chief, while writing in party organ "Murasoli", said he found solace in the remarks of the PM and hoped the Centre would consider the demands of an all-party meeting in Chennai on October 14.

Singh had said there could not be any military solution to the Sri Lankan issue and India had been pressing for a negotiated settlement to meet the aspirations of minority Tamils in that country, he said.

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee had also spoken on the similar line, he said, adding these remarks had strengthened his hopes that the centre would act, taking into consideration, the resolution passed at the meeting, which said all MPs from the state would resign if the Centre did not take action within a fortnight.

In line with the resolution, 13 Lok Sabha members of the DMK and four Rajya Sabha members have already submitted their post-dated resignation letters to Karunanidhi.

Expressing anguish over the plight of Sri Lankan Tamils, he said: "The future of Tamil race has become a question mark. I am unable to sleep, whenever I think of it. Let us save the Tamil race and its honour. Let us avoid the racial genocide in Sri Lanka at whatever price."

Hitting out at arch-rival and AIADMK leader Jayalalithaa, whose party had boycotted the all-party meeting saying it was an eye-wash, Karunanidhi said: "She did not have time to consider all these things and even ridiculed the resignation of DMK MLAs in 1983 for the cause of Lankan Tamils."

Pointing out to a fast observed by Jayalalithaa in 1991 on the Cauvery issue, he asked whether it had solved the issue.

He said whenever the DMK government was dismissed, be it in 1976 or 1991, DMK's support to Sri Lankan Tamils was cited as one of the reasons for the Centre's action.

Late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi [Images], who dismissed the DMK Government in 1976 on the issue of support to Sri Lankan Tamils issue, herself helped the Tamils later, he said.

Despite all these efforts, the future of Tamil race and its honour had become a question mark, he said and appealed to people to participate in the 'human chain' protest on the Sri Lankan Tamils issue on October 21. 




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