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Declare willingness to lay down arms, LTTE told

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EXPLAINING THEIR STAND: Union Home Minister P.Chidambaram flanked by CLP leader D. Sudarssanam (left) and TNCC president K.V. Thangkabalu at a public meeting in Chennai on Sunday.
EXPLAINING THEIR STAND: Union Home Minister P.Chidambaram flanked by CLP leader D. Sudarssanam (left) and TNCC president K.V. Thangkabalu at a public meeting in Chennai on Sunday.

Special Correspondent

We will pressure Sri Lanka to stop the war: Chidambaram

CHENNAI: India will pressure the Sri Lankan government to stop the war if the LTTE declared its willingness to lay down arms and come to the negotiation table, Union Home Minister P.Chidambaram said on Sunday.

Addressing a public meeting organised by the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee in the city, he said he did not expect the LTTE to lay down arms straight away , but a mere declaration of willingness would be sufficient for the Indian government to arrange dialogues with the Sri Lankan government.

He advised “Thambi Prabhakaran” to lay down arms since no armed groups have succeeded in seceding a nation in recent times.

“No army will come forward to hold talks with a militant group. If India cannot hold talks with the armed separatist groups in Jammu and Kashmir, Assam and Manipur, it also cannot claim moral rights to tell another sovereign nation to hold talks with an armed group,” he said.

Recalling that he had pleaded with the External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee to visit Sri Lanka to hold talks with President Mahinda Rajapakse, Mr. Chidambaram wondered why the LTTE did not respond favourably to India’s request to stop the war.

Making it clear that Mr. Prabhakaran was not the sole leader of the Sri Lankan Tamils, he said a solution to the issue could not be found by helping a dictator to get power.

He said the LTTE which had eliminated all Tamil leaders and threw the Indo-Sri Lankan accord to the dustbin, was responsible for the present situation.

Had the accord been implemented, a separate state comprising the North and the East could have been created and a Tamil could have become the Chief Minister, Mr. Chidambaram added.

TNCC president K.V.Thangkabalu said the campaign in support of the Sri Lankan Tamils cause in the State was part of a conspiracy to “suppress the achievements of the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre.”

Former MLA K.S.Azhagiri said it was unjustifiable that the PMK which was part of the government at the Centre and enjoying all privileges was speaking against it.

Congress Legislature Party leader D.Sudarsanam, deputy leader D. Yasoda and senior leaders participated.


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