As Sri Lankan troops swung into a “final assault” against LTTE, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on Tuesday mounted pressure on the UPA government by calling a general strike in the state on Thursday and asked the Centre to give an ultimatum to Colombo to declare an “immediate and permanent ceasefire” in that country.
Issuing a “final appeal” late tonight, he asked all Tamils irrespective of their political affiliations to join the 12-hour strike.
Karunanidhi, a key ally of Congress, said the strike was not only to demand that the Centre take measures for a permanent ceasefire to “save” Tamils from “massacre” by Sri Lankan army and “condemn” the Lankan government but also to sympathise with the plight of Tamils in that country.
Karunanidhi’s strike call hours after he sent telegrams to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee pressing India issues an ultimatum to Sri Lankan government for an immediate and permanent ceasefire to “save” lakhs of Tamils.
“I insist that the Prime Minister, UPA Chairperson and External Affairs Minister give an ultimatum to Sri Lankan government for an immediate and permanent ceasefire and save lakhs of Tamils”, he said in the telegrams.
He followed it up with another statement--the first this evening--saying the need of the hour was an immediate ceasefire instead of debating whether LTTE Chief V Prabhakaran was a terrorist or not.