DMK withdraws from MPs delegation to Sri Lanka

Chennai, April 15: Tamil Nadu’s major opposition party DMK Sunday decided to pull out of the all-party delegation of Members of Parliament to Sri Lanka, saying the visit will “serve no purpose”.

Speaking to reporters here, DMK president and former chief minister M. Karunanidhi said: “There had been instances in the past that such visits have not resulted in any useful purpose. Hence nobody would represent DMK in the delegation.”

The DMK’s decision comes a day ahead of the all-party MP delegation’s visit to Sri Lanka April 16-21 under the leadership of the BJP’s Sushma Swaraj to inspect the rehabilitation of those displaced during the war against the Tamil Tigers that ended in May 2009.

On April 12, AIADMK general secretary and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J.Jayalalithaa withdrew her MP A. Williams Rabi Bernard from the team as the itinerary does not include a meeting with the affected people and taking up their issue with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

She said the itinerary “gives importance to meeting and dining” with Sinhalese leaders and government officials and that the programme seemed to have been designed by Sri Lankan officials to create a positive image about them in India.

“Further the delegation does not comprise of journalists, human rights activists and independent observers,” she said.

Jayalalithaa also came down on the Indian government for not acting on the Tamil Nadu assembly resolution to take steps to impose economic sanctions against Sri Lanka and for diluting the US resolution against Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council.

She said Colombo was continuing with “its anti-Tamil activities by attacking Indian fishermen” as well as over the rehabilitation of Tamils in the island nation.

According to Jayalalithaa, the MPs’ visit will turn out to be “an eyewash” as it happened with an earlier team of parliamentary members belonging to the Congress, DMK and VCK parties.

IANS