Lanka had agreed to truce, but not LTTE
Union Home Minister P Chidambaram voiced “deep concern” over the Lanka situation and called upon Colombo as well as Tamil Tigers to end hostilities, report Aloke Tikku and MR Venkatesh.Updated: Feb 05, 2009, 23:59 IST
As the parties bid to outdo each other on the issue of Lankan Tamils took a new twist in Chennai, there was a clear signal from Delhi that India did persuade the island nation’s government to hold the offensive against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam for 48 hours, but the Tigers failed to respond to the peace overture.
Union Home Minister P Chidambaram voiced “deep concern” over the Lanka situation and called upon Colombo as well as Tamil Tigers to end hostilities. But, the minister also said only one side — the Lankan government — should not be expected to halt operations.
“Only when both hands join, can something be done. We’re not able to persuade LTTE to lay down arms,” he said. Mindful of the sentiment in Tamil Nadu, Chidambaram asked both sides to “heed our appeal”.
As the minister made Delhi’s position clear, actor-politician and DMDK leader Vijayakant asked people to boycott the Lok Sabha polls, if the Centre fails to prevail upon the Lankan government to stop the war against Tamils.
“If the Centre fails…, there is then no meaning in parties from Tamil Nadu participating in the Union government (UPA),” Chidambaram said in a statement.
Vijayakant, expected to join the DMK-Congress alliance for the Lok Sabha polls, said the next logical step for the people would be to boycott elections. The statement is being seen as an attempt to drive a hard bargain with the Congress.
Chief Minister and DMK president M Karunanidhi, on the other hand, said the party could pull out from the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) but had been advised by a number of Tamil leaders against such a radical move.
“I’m ready to pull out for the Lankan Tamils’ cause, but Chandrahasan, leader of a moderate Sri Lankan Tamil Group, Protection of Tamils in Eelam from Genocide, wrote to me, advising against any such move,” Karunanidhi said.