Congress leaders head for Tamil Nadu to placate Karunanidhi

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New Delhi, May 7 (ANI): Congress leaders are heading for Tamil Nadu to calm down Chief Minister and DMK President M Karunanidhi over the issue of a separate Eelam for Tamil people.

"As a next step, Sri Lankan Tamils should get Eelam. I assumed responsibilities of making all efforts to ensure that Eelam is created," Karunanidhi said.

Besides holding talks with Karunanidhi over the issue, party leaders will campaign for the last and fifth phase of elections, which is scheduled to be held on May 13.

Rahul Gandhi is scheduled to address rallies in Sivaganga and Tiruchirapalli in Tamil Nadu today.

Manmohan Singh will reach Chennai on Saturday to meet Karunanidhi and hold joint rallies with the DMK. Sonia Gandhi too will visit the state next week.

Last evening, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajpaksa ruled out any possibility of a cease-fire with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam (LTTE), adding that such step would be redundant as the latter would use the opportunity to rearm once again.

According to a statement issued by his office, he said that there is a delay in launching the final assault as the LTTE is using thousands of Tamil civilians as human shields, and the government is determined not to hurt them as far as possible.

Sri Lankan forces are reportedly just 800 meters from the area where an estimated 10,000-15,000 Tamil civilians are trapped along with the top LTTE leadership.

Government troops pushed into the rebel-held village of Karayamulliavaikkal, advancing over areas heavily mined by the rebels and fighting off attacks from their suicide bombers.

The LTTE rebels are deploying suicide bombers in the large numbers to slow down the Sri Lankan troop advance.

Though, estimates are not available, military sources say that between 500 to 1,000 hardcore black rebels have formed a last wall of defence around Prabhakaran and others.

Troops also found a huge cache of arms including assault rifles and radio communication sets. (ANI)

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