Millennium Post

TN CM lashes out at Karuna over remarks on SL refugees

Panneerselvam sought to know what was wrong in his government’s stand that the meeting, where India and Sri Lanka discussed the matter on January 30, should be held only after the goodwill and rehabilitation efforts of the Maithiripala Sirisena-led government were implemented.

“Neutral observers will accept that such a decision was taken because of our concern for the refugees here,” he said.

Quoting the reported remarks of Sri Lankan MP Seenithamby Yogeswaran that the situation in the northeast was not ‘conducive’ for Tamils to live and that the new government was making efforts to change that and settle them there and then address the refugee issue, the Chief Minister said this echoed his government’s stand.

“Our stand is that Tamils living in camps in Sri Lanka should be rehabilitated first and only after that the meeting about repatriation of refugees should have been held,” he said in a statement.

Panneerselvam had earlier written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking deferment of the January 30 meeting, saying it was premature since the situation was not conducive for repatriation of Tamil refugees.

Karunanidhi had criticised the move, saying a wonderful opportunity to speak on the status of Sri Lankan Tamils in the light of change of regime in the island nation was lost.
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