'How can India demand ceasefire in Sri Lanka?'

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Chennai, Nov 7: In a significant development on the demand for ceasefire in Sri Lanka, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on Friday, Nov 7 expressed doubt whether India, being a third party, could ask Sri Lanka to declare a ceasefire. Answering a set of questions here, Mr Karunanidhi said ceasefire should be agreed upon by both the parties, involved in the war, and would not be feasible if the stands of the both the parties were not known. Referring to demands by leaders of various political parties in the State that India should prevail upon Sri Lanka to declare a ceasefire, the Chief Minister said, ''I do not know how it is feasible to ask a party to declare ceasefire, without knowing the views of the two parties involved in the war.'' Without mentioning the name, the LTTE, he said the two parties, which were engaged in war, should end the hostilities and come forward to initiate peace talks with the help of nevtral countries, in circumstances which were also acceptable to India.

The final outcome, from the peace initiative should ensure permanent ceasefire and lasting peace in Sri Lanka, Mr Karunanidhi said, adding this was his wish. In view of the ambiguities involved in the issue, conflicting views were echoed on the Sri Lankan Tamils issue, the DMK leader said referring to PMK Leader S Ramadoss' demand that the Indian , Government should ask Sri Lanka to declare ceasefire. Referring to the PMK Leader's remarks that LTTE alone could make possible Tamil Eelam and the Tigers should not be looked as terrorists, Mr Karunanidhi said Dr Ramadoss's remarks comes a week after the party distanced itself from the LTTE.

He said only last week, PMK President G K Mani said the party never supported the LTTE and had no connection, whatsoever, with the LTTE.

He said each political party in the State had different stand on LTTE at different points of time, but the DMK had taken a consistent stand on the outfit. A couple of years ago, he had made it clear on the Floor of the Assembly that the DMK had two stands on the LTTE, ''pre Rajiv assassination and post assassination era'', Mr Karunanidhi said.


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