'Solution for Lankan crisis in 1984 Indo-Sri Lanka pact'

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Chennai, Nov 9: The Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC) on Sunday, Nov 9 said a peaceful and negotiated solution to the ethnic crisis in Sri Lanka could be found only within the framework of the 1984 Indo-Sri Lanka accord signed between former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and the then Lankan President J R Jayawardene. Talking to reporters after presenting a cheque for Rs five lakh to Chief Minister M Karunanidhi for the Sri Lankan Tamils Relief Fund at his Gopalapuram residence here, TNCC President K V Thangkabalu said the Centre was taking steps in this regard. ''A peaceful solution to the decades long ethnic crisis can be found only through talks as per the Rajiv-Jayawardene accord'', he added.

The TNCC Chief also explained to the Chief Minister the nature of discussions he had with the Prime Minister at New Delhi a couple of days ago on the issue. He said the Prime Minister had promised to route all the relief materials from the Central and the State governments to the suffering Tamils through the International Red Cross and the United Nations.

Describing his visit as a courtesy call, Mr Thangkabalu, accompanied by CLP Leader D Sudarsanam, said he did not discuss with the Chief Minister about the estranged ally the PMK, returning to the DMK-led DPA fold. Mr Thangkabalu said he also informed Mr Karunanidhi that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had assured that he would take up the issue with Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapakse when the latter visits New Delhi this month and press the demand for ceasefire. The TNCC Chief said he had informed the Prime Minister about the decisions taken at the All party meeting chaired by Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on October 14 and wanted them to be conveyed to the Lankan President.

He said Dr Manmohan Singh had also assured him that he would also convey the concern expressed by the leaders of Tamil Nadu to Mr Rajapakse and urge him to take steps for ensuring ceasefire and prevent the genocide of innocent Tamils in Lanka.

UNI

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