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Lankan Tamils back on agenda

[MISC, Wednesday, 23 September 2009 08:30 No Comment]

With the political scene in Tamil Nadu hotting up again over the plight of displaced Tamils in Sri Lanka and the arrest of some Indian fishermen by the Lankan Navy, DMK and Congress MPs from the state on Tuesday rushed to Delhi to meet the Prime Minister and UPA chairperson seeking the Centre’s immediate intervention on the issue.

While the MPs of the ruling coalition championed the cause of Tamils in Delhi, AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa issued a statement in Chennai threatening to launch an agitation if the Centre failed to protect the “life and dignity” of Tamils in Sri Lanka, signalling that the competitive politics over the Lankan Tamil issue is back.

The delegation of DMK and Congress MPs, comprising Union ministers P Chidambaram, A Raja, Dayanidhi Maran and G K Vasan, tried to impress upon Mahmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi the need for sending a high-level Indian team to Lanka to assess the situation in the island after the fall of the LTTE.

They wanted New Delhi to take up with Colombo the plight of Sri Lankan Tamils who are still living in relief camps and its intervention to ensure that the Lankan Navy desists from attacking Indian fishermen. Also on the demand list was efforts to get back Katchatheevu island from Lanka.

“Hundreds of Tamils are still living in relief camps. They should be sent back to their homes. Besides, there are frequent attacks on Tamil fishermen by the Lankan Navy. We want the Indian government to take up the issue with Lanka,” DMK MP T K S Elangovan told The Indian Express.

“We cannot completely close our eyes and shy away from projecting the gross human rights violations and the gruelling experience being undergone by the displaced Tamil civilians,” a memorandum submitted by the MPs to the Prime Minister said.

[Full Coverage]

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