After Govt's assurance, Karuna ends hunger strike: Reports | india | Hindustan Times
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After Govt's assurance, Karuna ends hunger strike: Reports

india Updated: Apr 27, 2009 12:53 IST

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After an assurance by the Prime Minister and P Chidambaram, DMK chief has reportedly called off his indefinite fast in Chennai demanding an unconditional ceasefire in Sri Lanka.

The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister went on a sudden fast in the morning today declaring he was ready to be 'yet another victim' of violence in the island nation.

Karunanidhi said, "Home Minister P Chidambaram has assured me of resolving crisis in Sri Lanka... I am very concerned about the situation of Tamils in Sri Lanka."

His son Azhagiri also went on fast in Madurai.

The 84-year-old Chief Minister drove to the memorial of late C N Annadurai early this morning and sat on a fast there demanding immediate ceasefire in the Sri Lankan army's offensive against the LTTE.

"Let me be one of Rajapaksa's (Sri Lankan President's) victims," he told reporters at the fast site.

"This is my sacrifice on behalf of all Tamils," said Karunanidhi, who recently underwent a major surgery for his back pain.

Despite his appeal to party leaders and activists not to undertake the fast, his son M K Azhagiri and a number of senior ministers and leaders along with their cadre began a solidarity fast throughout the state.

Concerned over his health, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi spoke to Karunanidhi and appealed to him to give up his protest fast but DMK sources said the Chief Minister politely told them that he cannot heed to their appeals in view of the situation in Sri Lanka where innocent Tamils were killed.

During the conversation, Singh assured Karunanidhi that his government was in constant touch with the Sri Lankan government, pressurising it to announce a ceasefire and provide humanitarian aid to the Sri Lankan Tamils, sources said.

Karunanidhi's party MPs made separate appeals to the Centre and Lankan government, to bring about a permanent ceasefire stating that their leader undertook the fast against medical advice "risking his precious life."

The DMK-led state government and the UPA government at the Centre have been accused by the rivals AIADMK, PMK and MDMK of having failed to end the conflict in Sri Lanka, in which they said, innocent Tamil civilians were being killed.

With elections nearing, AIADMK leader Jayalalithaa upped the ante saying a separate Tamil elam was the solution for the ongoing conflict.

However, opposition BJP and AIADMK called the fast a 'gimmick' and a 'drama' by Karunanidhi.