Karunanidhi hopeful of Centre taking steps to halt Lankan troops' offensive

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Chennai, Oct 18 : Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi today welcomed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's remark on the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka, and said the remarks raised hopes of the Centre taking steps to halt the Lankan troops' offensive against Tamils in LTTE-held areas.

The DMK chief, while writing in party organ "Murasoli", said he found solace in the remarks of the PM and hoped the Centre would consider the demands of an all-party meeting here on October 14.

The Prime Minister had said there could not be any military solution to the Sri Lankan issue and India had been pressing for a negotiated settlement to meet the aspirations of minority Tamils in that country.

Expressing anguish over the plight of Sri Lankan Tamils, Karunanidhi said: "The future of Tamil race has become a question mark. I am unable to sleep, whenever I think of it. Let us save the Tamil race and its honour. Let us avoid the racial genocide in Sri Lanka at whatever price."

Hitting out at arch rival and AIADMK leader Jayalalithaa, whose party had boycotted the all-party meeting saying it was an eye-wash, Karunanidhi said: "She did not have time to consider all these things and even ridiculed the resignation of DMK MLAs in 1983 for the cause of Lankan Tamils."

Pointing out to a fast observed by Jayalalithaa in 1991 on the Cauvery issue, he asked whether it had solved the issue.

He said whenever the DMK government was dismissed, be it in 1976 or 1991, DMK's support to Sri Lankan Tamils was cited as one of the reasons for the Centre's action.

Former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, who dismissed the DMK Government in 1976 on the issue of support to Sri Lankan Tamils issue, herself helped the Tamils later, he said.

ANI

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