PM must take up Tamils issue with Lankan Prez:Raja

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Chennai, Oct 7 (UNI) The Communist Party of India (CPI) today hit out at the Centre for allegedly keeping mum on the genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka and demanded that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee should intervene directly and strive to bring about a political solution to the ethnic crisis in the island nation.

Addressing a press conference at the party's Tamil Nadu head quarters here, CPI national secretary and MP D Raja said ''the Prime Minister speaks to President George Bush frequently in the distant United States. But doesn't he have time to speak to his next door neighbour Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajpakse and stop the genocide against Lankan Tamil.'' Alleging that the genocide against Tamils was only being seen as a problem of Tamil Nadu, he said it is the problem of the nation and the Centre must show more concern.

He charged that merely deputing security advisor M K Narayanan and foreign secretary Shivshankar Menon to discuss the issue is not enough.

''The CPI demands that the issue must be taken up at political level and the Prime Minister must talk to Lankan President Mr Rajapakse and its Prime Minister.

Mr Raja also criticised the Lankan government's stand on giving back Katchatheevu island to India. ''The Centre must study the Katchatheevu issue and assert its stand. The Prime Minister and the External Affairs minister must intervene directly in this issue also'', he demanded.

Mr Raja said the CPI welcomed the coming together of all political parties as well as the people of Tamil Nadu on the issue of protecting the Tamils in Lanka.

Atleast after the appeal of the DMK chief and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, whose party is part of the UPA government at the Centre, the Prime Minister must intervene directly understanding the depth of the problem, he said.

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