Opposition party pulls out of team to Sri Lanka

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Old 16-Apr-2012
Opposition party pulls out of team to Sri Lanka

Chennai: Tamil Nadu's major opposition party Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) yesterday 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 Bharatiya Janata Party'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, All India Annda DRavida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) general secretary and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalitha withdrew her lawmaker A. Williams Rabi Bernard from the team as the itinerary does not include a meeting with the affected people and the taking up of their issue with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse.

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

Jayalalitha also came down hard 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 at the UN Human Rights Council.

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