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Autonomy the solution to Lankan ethnic crisis: Bardhan

Source: PTI
May 09, 2009 03:31 IST
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The Communist Party of India on Friday said it regarded granting of autonomy to Tamil dominated areas of Sri Lanka as a solution to resolve the ethnic conflict in the island and preferred to leave the issue of formation of Eelam, a separate homeland, upto Tamils themselves.

"Our party has not yet decided about creating a separate Eelam. However we demand full autonomy for Tamils living in affected areas of Sri Lanka. The party will, however leave the decision of creating a separate Eelam upto Sri Lankan Tamils," CPI General Secretary A B Bardhan told media persons in Chennai.

He was responding to a question on All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader Jayalalithaa's stand that creation of Tamil Eelam was the only solution to the crisis.

Bardhan was in Chennai to campaign for his party candidate. "I am quite sure that if the Sri Lankan government goes on like this on the Tamils issue, the feeling of creating Eelam will be more consolidated in the minds of the people," he said.

He alleged that the affected people in Sri Lanka, especially those in military camps, were starving to death and that the Centre had done nothing to extend humanitarian aid to them.

Expressing hope that the Third Front would come to power at the Centre after the Lok Sabha polls, Bardhan said his party would then decide on whether to be part of the new government.

To a question on selecting the Third Front's Prime Ministerial candidate, he said CPI would speak to its partners after the elections and take a decision. On allegations of All India Congress Committee General Secretary Rahul Gandhi's attempts to isolate Left parties, he said it was the usual practice of the Congress, "which tries and creates differences among parties and isolate from one another. This will not succeed."

Refuting the remarks of Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate L K Advani in Chennai on Thursday that the United Progressive Alliance government had "outsourced" handling of Nepal affairs to Communists, he said it was BJP which had outsourced foreign policy to US during its rule.

He also opined that India's relations with its neighbours would have been much better, had Prime Minister Manmohan Singh devoted at least one fourth of the three years spent on pursuing the Indo-US nuclear deal, on them.

Bardhan termed Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi's recent complaint against CPI's North Chennai candidate D Pandiyan with the Election Commission for reportedly suppressing his assets, as "an attempt at character assassination."

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