Lankan Tamils crisis: CPI(M) ploughs a lonely furrow
As air strikes continue in Northern Sri Lanka, the CPI(M), baffled by the multiple positions on the ethnic crisis among political parties in Tamil Nadu, has decided to organize agitations on its own to press for a ceasefire, reports Mr.venkatesh.Updated: Feb 07, 2009 18:32 IST
As air strikes continue in Northern Sri Lanka, the CPI(M), baffled by the multiple positions on the ethnic crisis among political parties in Tamil Nadu, has decided to organize agitations on its own to press for a ceasefire there.
The CPI(M), which recently decided on an electoral alliance with the main opposition AIADMK in the State for the coming Lok Sabha polls, will organize ‘dharnas’ in all district headquarters on Feb 12, demanding that both the LTTE and the Island-regime immediately stop the military attacks and ensure the safety of the civilian Tamils caught in the war-zone in North Sri Lanka, followed by steps for a political settlement. It also urged the Centre to “seek UN’s help” to mitigate the humanitarian crisis there.
“Our foremost concern if the safety of the lives of the Tamils in Sri Lanka,” senior CPI(M) functionary, Mr. A. K. Padmanabhan said today, explaining their State Executive Committee’s resolution. The Marxist party’s decision to raise the Tamils issue on its own, stunned political circles in the wake of its ally, CPI, being part of another forum, the ‘Sri Lankan Tamils Protection Movement’, which includes pro-LTTE parties like the MDMK, PMK, and Mr. P. Nedumaran-led Tamils Nationalist Movement. It even has the BJP in its fold which otherwise would have nothing to do with any terror outfit.
“There are differences in approaches among various political parties on this issue and they have formed different combinations; though on the humanitarian aspect we are all one, the situation here is now completely complicated, particularly in the wake of the recent self-immolations and the way they got interpreted and projected by some political parties in Tamil Nadu,” Mr. Padmanabhan told HT here, explaining their dilemma.
Hence, in the interests of clarity on such a grave issue, the CPI(M) had no other option but to “raise it on our own platform, to express our opinion clearly on the Tamils issue,” Mr. Padmanabhan said. The Marxists’ 25-years-old clear-cut position on resolving the Sri Lankan Tamils ethnic crisis could not be ignored, he stressed.
The CPI(M)’s latest resolution on the issue makes no mention about whether the LTTE should also be invited for any political talks by the Sri Lankan Government, even as the BJP’s National Executive yesterday said that all the Tamils groups should be involved in the dialogue process.
Ironically, the ‘political fronts’ in Tamil Nadu now are different from the “political positions” taken by various parties on Sri Lanka, the CPI(M) leader pointed out, adding, their move will not affect the party’s alliance with Ms. Jayalalithaa. ‘Amma’ wants the LTTE to lay down arms and surrender, besides freeing the Tamil civilians it allegedly holds as ‘human shields’ against the attacks by the Sri Lankan military.
Meanwhile, the office of the Congress Rajya Sabha MP, Mr. Sudarshan Nachiyappan in Madurai down South, was attacked today by some miscreants, prompting demands from Congressmen to the State Government to take stern action against such criminal elements.
First Published: Feb 07, 2009 18:17 IST