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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
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Lankan Issue
Karunanidhi makes ‘final plea’ to Centre
N Ravikumar
Tribune News Service

Chennai, January 23
Making a ‘final plea’ to the Centre to stop ‘the genocide of Tamils’ in Sri Lanka, DMK chief M Karunanidhi today hinted that his party would consider all options, including snapping ties with the UPA, if the Centre ignored this plea too.

He told the Tamil Nadu Assembly that the party’s general council would be convened soon to decide on the next course of action, if the Centre failed to act immediately.

While passing a resolution in the Assembly titled ‘Tamil race is being destroyed in Sri Lanka-a final plea to the Indian government’, the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister said, “What the DMK will do cannot be announced in the Assembly, since the decision will be against one of the parties supporting today’s resolution”, in what is seen as a warning to his ally, the Congress.

The Chief Minister’s announcement has raised speculations that his party is considering snapping ties with the UPA. Karunanidhi was responding to an appeal by the PMK in the State Assembly to sacrifice power for the welfare of the island Tamils. “If Tamil Eelam will be formed by sacrificing power, we will be very happy to do so”, he said.

“The Tamil race is being annihilated in Sri Lanka. Even the UN has condemned the Sri Lankan government’s war. The island has become a graveyard. Tamil families with their children are being killed every day. Children have become the target of aerial bombardments”, he said.

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Cong unruffled

New Delhi, January 23
The Congress today downplayed the ‘final appeal’ of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi to the Centre to take steps to enforce a ceasefire in Sri Lanka, saying the language was not couched in threat.

“The language is not couched in threat...For us every ally is valuable,” Congress spokesman Manish Tewari told mediapersons here. Asked whether the DMK had become dispensable now, Tewari said, “For us every ally is valuable...We respect their support to the UPA. We respect their contribution to the stability of the government. It is absolutely erroneous to suggest that we do not acknowledge their contribution and do not want them.”

Congress spokesperson Jayanti Natarjan had earlier this week said that the government was serious about the Sri Lankan ethnic issue and was taking all possible steps in this regard. — PTI

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Jaya too bats for Tamils’ rights
Tribune News Service

Chennai, January 23
After facing a stiff resistance and isolation within her own alliance, AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa today said she, too, was supporting the struggle of Sri Lankan Tamils’ for self-determination rights.

Nearly a week after her press meet, Jayalalithaa denied that she had supported the Sri Lankan government's military offensive, and said some evil forces' had distorted her remarks.

“I had only said the killing of innocent people is inevitable during a war. I did not support the Sri Lankan government's military offensive”, Jayalalithaa said, after her ally, the CPI, openly challenged her to prove her accusations against the LTTE and asked her to keep silent if she did not understand the ground realities in the island nation.

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