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'Press SL to take steps for devolution of powers to Tamil


Press Trust of India  |  Chennai 

The ruling AIADMK Tuesday assured that it would demand that the centre press upon Sri Lanka to take steps for devolution of administrative powers to Tamil speaking areas in the island nation.

The party, in its election manifesto for the April 18 Lok Sabha polls, said the 'decimation' of lakhs of Tamils in the final stages of the civil war, particularly in Mullivaikal, "remains a burden in the conscience of Tamils all over the world."

It recalled former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa having revealed 'information' about India's help to his country's army during the Congress-led UPA rule at the peak of hostilities with the rebel LTTE, which saw many civilian casualties.

DMK was a key constituent in UPA then, and was the ruling party in Tamil Nadu.

The 'admission' by the former Sri Lankan president vindicated the stance of late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on the 'massacre' of several innocent Tamil civilians,it alleged.

"AIADMK will urge the the Government of India to take up the issue with the International Criminal Court in the Hague, Netherlands, for the prosecution of those involved in the heinous crime against humanity in the Tamil areas of Sri Lanka," the manifesto said.

Further, it assured that it would insist that the union Government urge "the Sri Lankan government for due devolution of administrative powers" to Tamil dominated areas, besides providing Constitutional guarantee for Tamils with regard to human rights, property, language and religious rights.

On the retrieval of Katchatheevu islet, AIADMK said it was legally possible in accordance with a Supreme Court judgement of 1960 after an appropriate constitutional amendment with the approval of Parliament

"AIADMK would urge the Centre to take appropriate legal measures to redeem Katchatheevu as part of Indian territory and restore the rights of the Tamil Nadu fishermen", it said.

Katchatheevu is an islet off the coast of Rameswaram and was ceded to Sri Lanka by India following the 1972 and 1976 agreements.

Jayalalithaa had earlier filed a case in the Supreme Court on its retrieval while in the Opposition in 2008

But the state government impleaded itself in the case after her party AIADMK won the 2011 Assembly polls.

AIADMK Coordinator O Panneerselvam released the manifesto in the presence of Joint Coordinator and Chief Minister K Palaniswami and senior leaders here.

AIADMK is contesting the polls in alliance with with BJP, DMDK, PMK, TMC, Puthiya Neethi Katchi and Puthiya Tamizhagam.

Former Puducherry Chief Minister N Rangasamy-led All India NR Congress is the party's ally in the neighbouring union territory.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, March 19 2019. 18:30 IST