Both Lankan army, LTTE must negotiate for ceasefire:Karunanidhi

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Chennai, Nov 9 (UNI) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK president M Karunanidhi today reiterated that both the warring parties -- the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE -- should return to the negotiating table to ensure ceasefire in the strife-torn Island nation.

Solemnising a marriage at the DMK headquarters 'Anna Arivalayam', here he said war could be ended only if both the parties agree for the ceasefire.

Likening the issue to that of a marriage, Mr Karunanidhi said only if the bride and bridegroom exchanged garlands, a marriage is solemnised. ''Likewise, the ceasefire in Sri Lanka can be ensured only if both the parties agree to it''.

''If one party alone declares ceasefire, it does not mean total ceasefire'', he said, in an apparent reference to the banned LTTE which had announced that it was prepared to declare a ceasefire.

Mr Karunanidhi was responding to Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) leader Thol Thirumalavalan remarks that the DMK Chief was the sole voice for the Tamil diaspora and that he should appeal to the Centre to bring both the Lankan government and the LTTE to the negotiating table for a ceasefire.

The Chief Minister had been stating that ceasefire would come only if both the parties accept it, following criticism especially from its estranged ally PMK that he had gone back on the principal resolution of the October 14 all party meeting demanding immediate ceasefire.

Following allegations that he had backtracked on it and had given the demand a quite burial, Mr Karunanidhi had a meeting with External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and said India had a limited role to play on the issue.

He also stated that the war could be ended only if both the parties agree for the ceasefire, a point which he reiterated today.

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