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DMK may offer outside support to UPA after talks over SL issue fail

CNN-IBN
Mar 18, 2013 at 11:09pm IST

New Delhi: There has been no breakthrough in talks between the Congress and the DMK over the Sri Lankan war crimes issue, sources said on Monday evening. Congress leaders P Chidambaram, AK Antony and Ghulam Nabi Azad had met M Karunanidhi at his residence in the evening to sort matters out after the latter threatened to pull out his ministers from the UPA Cabinet if his demands on the issue were not met.

M Karunanidhi, as well as his political rival, Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa, have been demanding amendments to the UN resolution against Sri Lanka. The two parties, the DMK and the AIADMK, have been demanding that India vote in favour of the resolution. They have also demanded introduction of the words 'Eelam' and 'genocide' in the US-sponsored resolution. They have also asked for an international probe into the matter.

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While India may vote against Sri Lanka, it is unlikely to push for the other demands.

Sources now say that the DMK is likely to offer outside support to the UPA. However, they add that the party has not yet decided on pulling out from the government. A decision is likely to be taken after a party meet, they say.

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Emerging from the meeting, DMK chief M Karunanidhi said, "We have communicated strongly that the term genocide must be in the draft resolution. There has to be an international probe." Karunanidhi also said that a stronger resolution on Sri Lanka must be passed in the Indian Parliament as well.

A DMK MP, TM Selvaganapathy, however, insisted that the party can no longer continue supporting the government. "At this juncture, we can't continue in the government. We have absolutely not given up this fight. It is an emotional issue for us," he told CNN-IBN.

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Meanwhile, a little earlier, India called off Defence Secretary-level talks with Sri Lanka, which were slated to begin on March 23.

In Delhi, government said India's Representative to the UN in Geneva will be here on Tuesday for consultations and a call will be taken after studying the final draft of the resolution. "The resolution in its final form will be available late this evening, Geneva time. The Foreign Secretary has also asked our Permanent Representative to the UN Dilip Sinha to come over to Delhi tomorrow," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson told reporters.

Karunanidhi had on Sunday said he felt "let down" by the "lukewarm" response of the Centre.

One of the amendments the Tamil Nadu parties seek is to "declare that genocide and war crimes had been committed and inflicted on the Eelam Tamils by the Sri Lankan army and the administrators." The second one is "establishment of a credible and independent international commission of investigation in a time bound manner into the allegations of war crimes, crimes against humanity, violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law and crime of genocide against the Tamils."

Karunanidhi said Parliament should adopt the resolution incorporating these two amendments.

With additional information from PTI

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