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Protests in Tamil Nadu even as DMK slams LTTE-India-The Times of India

[TOI, Friday, 30 January 2009 18:41 No Comment]

Against the backdrop of hawkish demands and street protests, the DMK-led government on Friday lashed out at the LTTE for not responding to the two-day ceasefire by the Sri Lankan government in the northern areas to enable the safe passage of ethnic Tamils caught in the conflict zone.

DMK, which has been turning the heat on the Centre to talk to Colombo to stop innocent Tamils becoming victims in the crossfire between the LTTE and the Sri Lankan security forces, said the LTTE had failed to reciprocate the 48-hour ceasefire announced by Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Meanwhile, protesting lawyers burnt copies of newspapers carrying photographs of Congress president Sonia Gandhi and effigies of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse accusing them of not working in the best interests of the affected Tamils.

Work in courts came to a standstill as lawyers commenced an indefinite call to boycott courts.

The Sri Lankan Tamil issue figured prominently in the state assembly with finance minister and DMK general secretary K Anbazhagan saying the LTTE had had not given any word on the safe passage of Tamils in the conflict zone.

Projecting a tough stand against LTTE, the Congress asserted in the assembly it won’t relent till the Tigers’ chief Velupillai Prabhakaran, a proclaimed offender in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, was arrested, extradited and prosecuted in India. ( Watch )

In the assembly, replying to a mention by Congress Whip S.Peter Alphones, Anbazhagan said even after the ceasefire announcement, LTTE leader V Prabakaran and his cadres had not come forward to reciprocate it.
"If the Sri Lankan government could say that it will save the Tamils after India’s intervention, why had the LTTE not given any response to it?" he asked.

He said many people took shelter on the LTTE side thinking that they would be safer. "But unfortunately, the Tamils are getting killed in the cross fire between the Sri Lankan Army and the LTTE," he added.

The Sri Lankan government has accused the LTTE of using the Tamils as "human shields".
Anbazhagan said the recent visit of external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee to the island nation was the first step to save the Tamils living there.

[Full Coverage]

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