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[MISC, Thursday, 25 June 2009 10:04 No Comment]

kalaigner-14 Chief Minister M Karunanidhi today called for unity among political parties in the State to help Lankan Tamils. He also assured that the Tamilnadu government would make all efforts to ensure that a ship with relief materials, sent to the island nation by Tamil diaspora, was allowed to off-load its contents.

Replying to the demands of MLAs during a special call attention motion in the Assembly, the Chief Minister said the ship, MV Captain Ali, was earlier refused permission to dock in Sri Lanka and was anchored off Chennai. He said he had written a letter last week to External Affairs Minister S M Krishna to urge the Lankan government to allow the ship.

‘When I came to know yesterday that a Sri Lankan delegation that included Basil Rajapaksa, the Senior Adviser to the Sri Lankan president and Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapakse was about to meet Krishna in Delhi, I immediately asked Union IT and Communications Minister A Raja to meet Krishna to press the demand before he met the delegation.

Following this, Basil Rajapaksa too confirmed that Sri Lanka has given a positive reply to India in the matter.’

He added: ‘If the ship is not allowed even after the assurance, it amouts to deception (by Sri Lanka). The Tamilnadu government would take all initiatives to make the relief materials to reach the ailing Tamils.’

Stating that there was no unity among political parties in the State over the Lankan issue, the Chief Minister said all should come together for the cause of Lankan Tamils.

‘We should stand together not just to help Tamils in the neighbouring nation, but to help Tamils living all over the world. Politicial parties should accept my words for the sake of our community,’ he said.

Minister, MLA cross swords

Pandemonium prevailed in the Assembly as MLAs of DMK and the main opposition AIADMK shouted at each other after a heated argument between Public Works Department Minister Durai Murugan and AIADMK legislator P K Sekar Babu.

Following this, Chief Minister Karunanidhi intervened and requested the Speaker to delete some ‘harsh remarks’ from Assembly records, made by both the Minister and the MLA.

Sekar Babu was also involved in an argument with Karunanidhi over the law and order condition in the State.

[Full Coverage]

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