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All eyes on TN, Lanka treads cautious path

Political developments in Tamil Nadu in the last 24 hours might have made the Sri Lanka Govt uneasy but it chose to play by the diplomacy book, reports Sutirtho Patranobis.

world Updated: Oct 15, 2008 23:14 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis
Hindustan Times

Political developments in Tamil Nadu in the last 24 hours might have made the Sri Lankan government uneasy but it chose to play by the diplomacy book on Wednesday, saying it was India’s internal matter and that Colombo was simply keeping a watch on the situation.

Officials here chose to remain cautious in their reaction to Tuesday’s all-party meet in Chennai, which said that if the Centre did not stop the Tamil genocide in Sri Lanka within two weeks, all Tamil Nadu MPs would resign.

“We are watching the situation. We will wait and see if the Indian government comes out with a statement. Also remember, Jayalalithaa has spoken against Karunanidhi,” Basil Rajapaksa, senior adviser to President Mahinda Rajapaksa said.

A foreign ministry official said some issues were raised by NSA M.K. Narayanan on October 6 when he called our deputy high commissioner in New Delhi. “We have promised to look into them.”

After the meeting in New Delhi, the Indian High Commissioner also called on Rajapaksa and other senior officials to convey India’s concerns on the situation of the displaced Tamil civilians.

But the resolutions adopted at the end of the political meeting in Chennai could have taken the administration here by surprise.

“The Centre should stop the 30-year-old civil war that has resulted in thousands of Tamils’ death in Eelam. Since Indian military aid is resulting in genocide of Tamils, this meeting urges its immediate stoppage,” an official statement quoted a resolution adopted at the meeting as saying.

Interestingly, the use “Eelam” is unprecedented in an official statement from the Tamil Nadu government.

But if officials wanted to keep the disquiet over the developments to themselves, a government website article did let go of some steam. “If this move succeeds, this is the second time Tamil Nadu politicians are going to bail out the LTTE leader who has successfully introduced two generations of politics based on suicide terrorism in South Asia.”

52 Tigers killed in northern Lanka

Heavy fighting continued between Lankan armed forces and the LTTE in the last 24 hours around the northern city of Kilinochchi, claiming at least 52 Tigers. Five soldiers of the army were also killed, government sources confirmed.

The armed forces claimed to have pushed forward towards capturing Kilinochchi, a key LTTE-controlled town and their political and administrative hub.