2ND LEAD (Correction, Update)

Tamil Nadu exerts pressure on New Delhi against Sri Lanka's war

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 07 October 2008, 09:36 GMT]
The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu state in Southern India, Kalaignar M. Karunanidhi, on Monday indirectly declared that his government would no longer tolerate Indian Central government aiding the Sri Lankan government against the Eezham Tamils, even if it aided Colombo "unwittingly". The move comes after the veteran DMK leader urged his party members to telegram New Delhi to convey their displeasure with the attitude of the Central government. He has issued a veiled threat to New Delhi implying that he would not hesitate to withdraw his support to the ruling UPA alliance, if Sri Lanka continued its war against Eezham Tamils, media reports in Tamil Nadu said.

Following thousands of telegrams and a letter sent by him to Indian Prime Minister with four demands, the Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh discussed with Mr. Karunanidhi over the phone Monday morning. Later, Mr. Karunanidhi addressed the people of Tamil Nadu in a public meeting called on to declare his support to Eezham Tamils in Chennai. Thousands attended the rally.

The four demands, which Kalaignar said he read out to the Indian Prime Minister, when the latter contacted him over the phone, were:

  1. The Sri Lankan High Commissioner in Delhi should be called on the carpet by the Indian Central Government against the killings of Tamils in Sri Lanka
  2. Put an end to the military offensive and the killings by the Sri Lankan government
  3. Sri Lankan Government should enter Peace Talks
  4. There should be no hardships imposed on Tamil Nadu fishermen by the Sri Lanka Navy


Stating that Dr. Manmohan Singh responded in a sympathetic tone in saying that he had already conveyed the concerns coming from Tamil Nadu to the Sri Lankan High Commission in New Delhi, Kalaignar went on saying that he urged Indian Prime Minister to come forward to the struggle with him if Sri Lanka continued its war against Tamils ignoring the request already conveyed by the Indian Prime Minister to the Sri Lankan High Commissioner.

"I am urging the Centre, peacefully and decently, that we would be forced to find an answer to the question whether this [DMK] government is needed if our requests go unheeded. I have to remind that I am foremost a Tamil. I also happen to be the Tamil who is ruling the Tamil Nadu state with the responsibility as a guardian to the people of Tamil Nadu."

The above statement was viewed as a veiled threat to the Centre by analysts in Chennai.

"It counts the same whether a Tamil gets killed here or in Sri Lanka. This rally is held to express publicly that we urge the Indian government not to give up us [Tamil Nadu Tamils] in our struggle to safeguard them [Tamils in Sri Lanka]."

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Karunanidhi
Kalaignar M. Karunanidhi, addressing a massive gathering in at Maangkollai, Mayilai in Chennai, on Monday.

 

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