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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2525

Indian PM sending his emissary to MK to discuss Lanka issue

M Karunanidhi:  "We have no separate policy. What Delhi decides, it is our line."M Karunanidhi: "We have no separate policy. What Delhi decides, it is our line."By M Rama Rao in New Delhi- Reporting for Asian Tribune

New Delhi, 21 June ( Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is sending his emissary to Chennai to discuss with DMK chief M Karunanidhi the ‘burning’ situation in Sri Lanka. Singh himself told this to the chief minister who spoke to him on phone and apprised him of the views of the DMK and its allies on the issue.

Prime Minister, who is keeping himself abreast of the developments in Lanka and related matters, told MK that he had read the resolution adopted by the DMK and its allies. He promised to send his national security advisor M Narayanan to Chennai to discuss Tamil Nadu concerns.

Significantly, PM’s party, the Congress was associated with the resolution in its capacity as the poll ally of the DMK along with the Left partiers, PMK, Dravidar Kazhagam and Indian Union Muslim League (IUML). New Delhi is also equally concerned over the volatile situation in Sri Lanka and has been talking about the need for early return of peace to the Island nation.

One factor that appears to have weighed with Delhi to quickly step in and address the concerns of Chennai is the present stand of Muthavel Karunanidhi that he stands by the Lanka policy of the UPA government of which the DMK is a constituent. “We have no separate policy. What Delhi decides, it is our line”, he has been repeatedly saying ever since he returned to power even though his bitter rival Jayalalithaa Jayaram of the AIADMK has been adopting what is seen as an aggressive posture on the Lanka Tamil and LTTE issues.

DMK and its allies as also the AIADM are exercised over the latest spurt in mine blasts, and aerial bombings in the Island Republic in the wake of collapse of resumed peace effort, and the consequent influx of refugees into India.

Jayalalithaa has been demanding ‘immediate’ action by New Delhi to bring peace in the strife torn island. She issued a fresh statement of anguish and concern today also repeating the same line. She is silent on what action she is visualising to restore peace in Sri Lanka.

Given the competitive nature of Dravidian politics and the importance of the Lanka factor in the Tamilnadu politics, the AIADMK supremo statement doesn’t come as a surprise. What has added to the TN concern is the firing by Lanka navy on Indian fishermen.

Tension prevailed in the Rameswaram coastal village in Tamil Nadu after a fisherman sustained injuries in firing by Sri Lankan navy off Dhanushkodi coast in the early hours of June 18. About 800 fishermen from Tamil Nadu were fishing in the mid-sea when they came under Sri Lankan navy fire.

The DMK and its allies met in Chennai on June 19 and adopted a resolution saying, “The recent happenings in the island had brought ‘mental agony to the people in Sri Lanka and India. The Sri Lankan issue had already brought some unwanted disasters, and the Centre should consider it and take steps to bring peace in Sri Lanka”.

They wanted a stop to the ‘atrocities’ on Indian fishermen by the Sri Lankan army and a guarantee their lives, property and rights.
Like Jayalalithaa, Karunanidhi also did not specify what steps the Centre should take to bring the situation back to normal. “I am leaving it to the Centre on the nature of steps”, he told a questioner in Chennai. He however favoured early resumption of the peace talks between LTTE and Colombo.

Asked whether he was satisfied with the Centre's handling of the Sri Lankan issue, he said “so far, yes”

-Asian Tribune -

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