» Election » Neither Lanka, nor LTTE heeding to India's request: Chidambaram

Neither Lanka, nor LTTE heeding to India's request: Chidambaram

Source: PTI
April 23, 2009 17:14 IST
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Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on Thursday said both the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and the Sri Lanka were not paying heed to India's request to end hostilities but felt Colombo was "more at fault" as it thought military solution could end the strife.

Stating that the Sri Lankan Tamils issue was a humanitarian one and there was need to protect the lives of the people, he said India had asked the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE to stop the hostilities.

"We have been making the demand continuously for many days. But both the LTTE and the Sri Lankan government are not paying heed to our request," he said.

However, Sri Lankan government was more at fault regarding the ongoing battle because they were thinking that military solution could end the strife, he told media persons after filing his nomination papers from Sivaganga Lok Sabha constituency.

"The issue cannot be resolved by the army. It has to be resolved through negotiations. The Tamils should be given equal respect, status and right. Tamil dominated one or two provinces should be made states with equal rights within the Sri Lankan federal set up," he said.

Asked about Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam chief M Karunanidhi's demand for snapping diplomatic ties with the Lankan government if it did not stop the war, he said "it is a serious issue and it cannot be discussed in a press meet."

Queried if LTTE Chief Prabhakaran would be given asylum, he said "I can't comment. It is a legal issue."

Chidambaram described Thursday's general strike on the Sri Lankan Tamils issue called by DMK, an ally of Congress, as an expression of "anguish" against killing of Tamils in the island nation.

"It is not against the Union government or the Congress. It is for stopping the hostilities there in that country." He said it was wrong to say that the Union government did not take any steps to stop the hostilities in the island.

Right from 1983 successive central governments had been following the same policy vis-a-vis the Sri Lankan strife. All parties including Pattali Makkal Katchi, AIADMK, Marumalarachi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, had been allies in those Governments, he said.

"Now some political parties are trying to mislead the people and are claiming it is a poll plank," he said, apparently taking a dig at AIADMK and its allies who have refused to take part in the strike with Jayalalithaa dismissing it as 'farce and a drama.'

Asked about Jayalalithaa describing as a drama sending of telegrams and letters to Prime Minister by Karunanidhi on Lankan Tamils issue, he retorted, "I am not in the film industry. I do not know whether it is a drama or farce."

Maintaining that national issues were more important than local ones during the Lok Sabha polls, Chidambaram said the achievements of the UPA government and who is the next Prime Minister are going to be the main issues.

"People are anxious to know about who is the next Prime Minister. That is the issue for this election. They know that the Congress is contesting 440 seats," he said.

Reacting to Jayalalithaa's charges against him on different issues, Chidambaram said, "Her allegations are not new. She has given many false information and facts. She did not go deep into the subject before making the charges."

Jayalalithaa had alleged on Wednesday that Chidambaram had played a major role in "ruining the country's economy" and that introduction of participatory note scheme by him had helped foreign investors to pump money into the stock market without even disclosing their identity, pushing up the stock index sharply.

Chidambaram said it was the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Allaince government that gave "recognition to the Participatory notes" and he did not have any role in it as alleged by Jayalalithaa.

On the Naxals seizing a train in Jharkand, he said, "It was expected. We had taken adequate measures in all the Naxal areas. Had we not taken, things would have been worse."

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