Ready to discuss Sri Lankan-Tamil issue in Parliament: Govt

Last Updated: Tue, Mar 19, 2013 11:01 hrs

New Delhi: As DMK on Tuesday announced its decision to withdraw support from UPA, an embattled government made a last ditch attempt to placate the crucial ally by promising an immediate discussion in the Lok Sabha on the Sri Lankan Tamil issue.

The announcement by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath in the House came soon after DMK chief M Karunanidhi said in Chennai that his party was ready to reconsider its decision to pull out of the UPA if Parliament adopts a resolution on Sri Lankan Tamil issue before March 21.

The deadline is significant as a resolution on the Sri Lankan Tamil issue is slated for voting in the UNHRC that day.

"The government views with serious concern the happenings in Sri Lanka. The government is open for discussion on the issue," Nath said and urged Speaker Meira Kumar to fix time and date for the discussion.

Nath's statement came close on the heels of DMK member TKS Elangovan's remarks, "We are not bothered about resolution in UNHRC. The Government of India has moral and bounden duty to see that assurances given by the Sri Lankan government are fulfilled. Why is the government a silent spectator?"

As Elangovan started speaking, Trinamool Congress as also BJP sought to embarrass the government by asking him whether his party was part of the ruling UPA or the Opposition.

Elangovan responded by merely saying that he was speaking on behalf of the DMK. The DMK has 18 members in the Lok Sabha.

The House witnessed a strange situation as Elangovan and his DMK colleagues were in the Well shouting slogans 'we want resolution against Sri Lanka'. AIADMK members were also in the Well.

UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, as also Nath, were seen talking to Elangovan following which he suddenly led his colleagues back to their seats. AIADMK members had earlier returned to their seats, apparently following an assurance that their leader M Thambidurai will be allowed to speak.

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