Congress sees no threat to govt on Lankan issue

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New Delhi, Oct 15 (UNI) Amid a threat by all the MPs from Tamil Nadu to resign on the Sri Lankan issue, the Congress Party today said this should not be construed as a threat to the UPA government.

The Party said the Centre would engage with both the Sri Lankan government and its allies in Tamil Nadu, including the ruling DMK which is the major constituent of the UPA coalition.

An all-party meeting convened by the DMK government yesterday passed a resolution announcing that all the MPs from the state would resign en masse if the Indian Government did not intervene to help bring ceasefire in Sri Lanka within two weeks and bring a halt to the killing of Eelam Tamils.

''We will continue to engage with the Sri Lankan government and the Government of Tamil Nadu to ensure that their concern gets adequately reflected without impinging on the neighbouring country's sovereignty,'' AICC Spokesman Manish Tewari told newspersons, while adding that the Union government had already taken up the issue with its Sri Lankan counterpart at the highest level.

He said the ultimatum of the all party meeting to the Centre on the Sri Lankan issue should not be construed as a threat to the UPA government.

In this context, he said the greatest achievement of the Congress was that it had succeeded in keeping a smooth relationship with all the allies of the UPA.

He refused to buy the suggestion that the convening of the all-party meeting by the DMK on the Sri Lanakan issue was as a prelude to its move to break up with the UPA before the next General elections.

Mr Tewari said independent political parties would have their own views on different issues. ''In fact, the Congress is sensitive to their views.'' Asked if the Indian government had changed its foreign policy vis-a-vis Sri Lanka, Mr Tewari said ''foreign policy evolves over a period of time. Our foreign policy in the neighbourhood has been constant. However, at some point of time certain issues do emerge.

But articulation of their concern cannot be construed as a change in foreign policy.'' On the Ram Setu issue, he said the Party would go by the decision of the Supreme Court. ''Ram Setu is purely a developmental issue which has been communalised by the saffron (BJP) party.'' UNI SH LS BD1935

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