Indian politicians divided on Lanka issue
As Sri Lankan army has reached towards the end of the 25 years civil war, politicians in India are divided on the issue. The attack on the Tamil Tigers in the neghbouring country has become an election issue, especially in Tamil Nadu.world Updated: Apr 22, 2009 13:01 IST
As Sri Lankan army has reached towards the end of the 25 years civil war, politicians in India are divided on the issue. The attack on the Tamil Tigers in the neghbouring country has become an election issue, especially in Tamil Nadu.
Focusing on the Tamil voters, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Karunanidhi hailed LTTE chief Prabhakran as Porus and demanded that he should be treated with dignity when caught.
In a telegram sent to the central government on Tuesday, Karunanidhi wrote, "We welcome with gratitude the appeal made by the External Affairs Minister for ceasefire in Sri Lanka. If the appeal for ceasefire is not honoured and implemented by the Sri Lankan government, we request the Government of India to snap all diplomatic relations with Sri Lanka.
Launching a scathing attack on the UPA government and particulrly Congress party over its stand towards Tamils loosing the war, AIADMK chief J Jayalalitha said, "Why is Sonia Gandhi remaining silent? Is she not the Congress president? Is she not the widow of Rajiv Gandhi? Is she not the chairperson of the UPA?."
"She should come out with clear, explicit answers to Karunanidhi's statements. She should tell the nation what she feels about it and what she proposes to do about it," added Jayalalitha.
The BJP, however, has been demanding the UN to intervene in Sri Lanka. "I am sorry to say that those in office in New Delhi are utterly insensitive towards the Sri Lankan Tamils’ cause," said BJP’s prime ministerial candidate L K Advani.
"The bombings of hospitals are an issue which is of serious concern not only for Tamils in Tamil Nadu but for every single Indian. I urge all the citizens of the country to be associated with the cause of Sri Lankan Tamils," he added.
After Karunanidhi's criticsm of the government, the Congress party has defended its stand. Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma told mediapersons, "Prabhakaran is a proclaimed offender and the LTTE is a terrorist outfit and it should be treated on par with such other organisations. We have a firm policy on the Sri Lanka issue. The people of Tamil origin should get their constitutional rights."
Congress chief Sonia Gandhi's daughter Priyanka Gandhi has also been discussing the Lanka issue during election rallies. "Rahul and I perhaps react to this particular thing slightly differently. I know Rahul. He has no anger in his heart, no hatred in his heart. He was only referring to the fact that the justice system takes a long time."
Priyanka has often claimed that she feels no hate or anger for her father's killers. "I actually think that justice is something that I cannot demand from other human beings. Justice is something that the universe will give me. You see this fact that this lady (Nalini) has suffered as much as, if not more than, I have suffered. In a sense, that is justice. Nobody has made her suffer. Circumstances have created that suffering," she said.
First Published: Apr 22, 2009 12:59 IST