Thursday, April 23, 2009

Lanka govt 'more at fault' than LTTE: Chidambaram

Sivaganga: Union home minister P Chidambaram on Thursday said both LTTE and 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 reporters 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 DMK President 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 today'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 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 PMK, AIADMK, MDMK, 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."

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