(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
February 08, 2009
Safety Of Civilian Population Is A Priority, Says Prakash Karat
“THE plight of the Tamil civilian population is the primary concern to be dealt with immediately. When the war and hostilities are continuing, the safety of Tamil people is of great concern. According to the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) more than 2 lakh people are caught in the crossfire and are in the war zone” said Prakash Karat, general secretary, CPI(M) while addressing the media at Madurai on February 2, 2009.
There have been reports of escalating civilian casualties due to the armed conflict raging in Mullaitheevu district. The ICRC sounded an alarm that a major humanitarian disaster is impending there. The civilians have no assured passage to the safe zones notified by the Sri Lankan armed forces. Hence a large civilian population continues to be trapped in the war zone.
First and foremost, the Communist Party of India (Marxist), therefore, appeals to the government of India and the United Nations to make all efforts to persuade the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE to come to an understanding to release the civilian people from the war zone.
Secondly, our Party makes a distinction between the LTTE and the affected innocent Tamil people. The cause of the Tamil people, their just rights and genuine autonomy for northern and eastern region must be dealt with by the Sri Lankan government. Unfortunately, the Sri Lankan government and president Mahinda Rajapakse had not made any worthwhile moves to resolve the problem and politically address the Tamils issue. Recently, the external affairs minister of India, Pranab Mukherjee, visited Colombo. When he met Sri Lankan president, the latter assured that steps will be taken to implement the 13th amendment of the Sri Lankan Constitution. However, the Sri Lankan government is keen on pursuing the military option rather than the political solution. The 13th amendment of Sri Lankan Constitution is having the provision for granting autonomy to the provinces and for devolution of power. Based on this provision and other measures beyond it a political solution to the Tamils issue can be reached within the framework of a united Sri Lanka.
Thirdly, in this issue, we must keep in mind that we are dealing with the developments in an independent country. Since we maintain good neighbourly relationship with Sri Lanka, the government of India should step up its diplomatic and political intervention to save the civilian people, who are caught in the war zone, said Prakash Karat.