Sri Lankan Tamil issue: Chidambaram, Antony on placate-Karunanidhi mission


Three senior Congress ministers A K Antony, P Chidambaram and Ghulam Nabi Azad today met DMK chief M Karunanidhi in a bid to mollify the key UPA ally on the Sri Lankan Tamils issue.

The three senior Congress leaders drove straight from the airport to the CIT colony residence of Karunanidhi, who had threatened to withdraw his ministers from the Cabinet and quit the coalition, if the Centre failed to move amendments to the US-backed resolution against Sri Lanka at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

Congress sources in New Delhi said that the ministers have been asked to convince Karunanidhi that the Centre will not compromise with the interests of Lankan Tamils at any cost.

Both Chidambaram and Antony are said to have good rapport with the DMK supremo while Azad is the Congress in-charge of Tamil Nadu affairs.

After threatening to pull out DMK ministers from the central government on Friday, Karunanidhi had shot off letters to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi saying, he feels "let down" by the "lukewarm" response of the government to the issue.

The US-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka is expected to come up for voting at the UNHRC session in Geneva on March 21.

Unclaimed suitcase found near ministers

Security agencies got into a tizzy today after an unclaimed suitcase was found a few metres away from where Union Ministers P Chidambaram, A K Antony and Ghulam Nabi Azad were waiting.

The suitcase was found just 50 metres away from the hall where the Ministers were waiting after arriving from Delhi, airport sources said.

It was removed to a safe spot and checked after the ministers left the airport, they added. The suitcase contained clothes.

The three ministers arrived here today to meet DMK chief M Karunanidhi, after the key UPA ally threatened to withdraw his ministers from the cabinet and quit the coalition if the Centre failed to move amendments to the US-backed resolution against Sri Lanka at United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

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