Cong. for peaceful solution in Sri Lanka

PONDICHERRY, MAY 8. The AICC general secretary, Mr. Ghulam Nabi Azad said here today that the Congress(I) wanted a peaceful resolution of all outstanding problems in Sri Lanka.

Addressing a press conference, he said the Congress(I) strongly felt that the legitimate rights and interests of all ethnic groups, including the Sri Lankan Tamils should be fully protected, within the framework of the territorial integrity and unity of Sri Lanka.

Mr. Azad was here to address a meeting organised by the Secular Democratic Front, comprising the Congress(I), TMC, CPI, AIADMK and the CPI(M) besides their allies to felicitate the new Ministry in Pondicherry under the stewardship of Mr. P. Shanmugham.

AICC(I) secretaries, Mr. Anil Sastri and Mr. V. Narayanasamy, Chief Minister Shanmugham, Congress(I) member in the Lok Sabha, Mr. M.O.H. Farook, Education Minister of Pondicherry, Mr. N. Rangasamy and Health Minister, Mr. E. Valsaraj were also present at the press conference.

Mr. Azad claimed that the alliance now established among the Congress(I) TMC, AIADMK, the CPI, CPI(M) and a few other allies was a potent one and the Ministry now in power here would be result-oriented, corruption-free and stable. The experiment here would be successful and on the same lines we would contest elections in Tamil Nadu, he said.

Asked why no common programme had been worked out, he said the development of the Union Territory was the common objective of the administration.

He said the Congress(I) was ready to face the elections any time in Tamil Nadu. The principal objective of the parties constituting the secular front was to ensure the rout of the DMK and BJP. At the national level the BJP was our common foe and at State levels such as in Kerala and West Bengal, the Left was our enemy, he said.When his attention was drawn to the situation prevailing in the TNCC(I) he said ``we have to take a firm decision and it would be done within a week's time.''