BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: South Asia
Front Page 
World 
Africa 
Americas 
Asia-Pacific 
Europe 
Middle East 
South Asia 
-------------
From Our Own Correspondent 
-------------
Letter From America 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 
Tuesday, 6 June, 2000, 17:38 GMT 18:38 UK
Tamil politician rapped for remarks
Government buildings in Delhi
Delhi says its position remains unchanged
By Vipul Mudgal in Delhi

A statement by a senior Tamil politician in India, M Karunanidhi, suggesting that Sri Lanka be divided as a way out of its ethnic conflict has been widely criticised.

Mr Karunanidhi, who is the chief minister of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, said that Sri Lanka should either devolve more rights to the Tamils or follow the Czech model and split into two nations.

India's opposition parties have alleged that the governing coalition in Delhi, of which Mr Karunanidhi's party is a member, is speaking in conflicting tones.

But the government says there is no change in India's position on the issue.

'Personal opinion'

Defence Minister George Fernandes said individuals might have different views but the Indian Government is committed to Sri Lanka's unity.

Chief Minister Karunanidhi
M Karunanidhi: Controversial remarks
Mr Fernandes said coalition partners were free to air their views but they must also observe discipline.

He said Mr Karunanidhi's views were his personal opinion and did not reflect any change in the Indian Government's position.

But opposition parties, led by the main Congress party, have alleged that Mr Karunanidhi's remarks reflect confusion in the governing coalition over this sensitive issue.

Left critical

Congress party spokesman Ajit Jogi said Mr Karunanidhi's statement was objectionable and smacked of irresponsibility.

Mr Jogi also said his party was not satisfied with the government's policy on Sri Lanka.

Left-wing politicians have been equally critical of Mr Karunanidhi.

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) said the division of Sri Lanka would have dangerous consequences in the region.

The general secretary of the Communist Party of India, A B Bardhan, said Mr Karunanidhi had shown his ignorance by talking about the Czech model.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

05 Jun 00 | South Asia
Anger over 'partition' remarks
05 Jun 00 | South Asia
Analysis: Playing Tamil politics
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more South Asia stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more South Asia stories