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Jaya's remarks kicks up political storm

india Updated: Jan 18, 2009 10:34 IST
Mr Venkatesh
Mr Venkatesh
Hindustan Times
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Jaya's remarks on Lankan Tamils crisis kicks up political storm


Chennai, January 17, 2009:


The AIADMK Supremo Ms.Jayalaithaa's remarks today that the banned LTTE in Northern Sri Lanka was using Tamils there as "human shields" which aborted any effort by the civilians to flee the war-torn areas, has kicked up a political storm in Tamil Nadu amid a fast-unto-death by a Dalit leader here.

Ms. Jayalalithaa's views, shared with reporters after paying floral tributes to her political mentor and party founder late MG Ramachandran's statue at the AIADMK headquarters on the latter's 92nd birthday today, is in sharp variance from the stance of most political parties that the Sri Lankan Army under the pretext of eliminating terror was only resorting to "ethnic cleansing and genocide of Tamils" in the Island-republic.

Ms. Jayalalithaa demanded that LTTE allow the Tamils to move away to safer places so that civilian casualties are minimal. She said no State was free from happenings of civilians caught in the crossfire when terrorists were being pursued upon. But all the other main parties including BJP in Tamil Nadu have been demanding that Centre should act firmly to get Colombo to "stop the war" against the Tamils there to save them.

'Amma's outbursts, virtually endorsing the Rajapakshe regime's military action against the banned Tamil Tigers in Northern Sri Lanka, has enraged the blatantly pro-LTTE outfits like the Dalit Panthers of India (DPI) led by Thol. Thirumavalavan whose indefinite fast over this issue entered the third day today. It has also hugely embarrassed the AIADMK's own allies, the Vaiko-led MDMK and the CPI. The latter of late has surprisingly turned soft towards the LTTE.

Doing a tight-rope walk in this difficult scenario as the Foreign Secretary, Mr. Shiv Shankar Menon held talks with the Sri Lankan political leadership in Colombo, has been the DMK President and Chief Minister, Mr. M. Karunanidhi, who called for patience. "Let us wait for a few more days to see what further action the Centre would take and we hope something good would ensue from its latest initiative," he said in Chennai. Meanwhile, several political party leaders appealed to Thirumavalavan to end his fast.