Ten TN MPs visiting Sri Lanka from Saturday
NEW DELHI, October 9: A delegation of 10 parliamentarians, from Tamil Nadu, are arriving in Colombo on Saturday on a three-day visit to primarily visit the government-run camps for the internally displaced Tamils.
The team comprises six MPs belonging to the southern Indian state’s ruling Dravida Menntra Kazhagam (DMK) party, three to the Congress Party, and one to Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK).
However, the Jayaram Jayalalithaa-led opposition All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) is boycotting the visit.
The team includes DMK chief and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Muthuvel Karunanidhi’s son M. K. Alagiri as well as daughter Ms Kanimozhi. The other DMK members are T. R. Baalu, T. K. S. Elangovan, A. K. S. Vijayan, and Ms Helen Davidson.
The remaining four MPs are: J. M. Aaron Rashid, N. S. V. Chitthan, Dr E. M. Sudarsana Natchiappan (all Congress), and Thirumaa Valavan Thol (VCK).
The MPs met Karunanidhi in Chennai today for a thorough briefing.
The MPs are likely to visit camps for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) at Menik Farm.
There is speculation here that the Sri Lankan government may arrange for the team to visit Trincomalee and Jaffna, and that it may meet President Mahinda Rajapakse.
The visit is taking place in the wake of a demand that a delegation of Tamil Nadu MPs should go to Sri Lanka to assess the situation of the Tamils living in camps and the relief and rehabilitation works being provided by the government there.
About 2,50,000 Tamils have been living in camps for IDPs since mid-May this year, when the Sri Lankan security forces defeated the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), and killed Velupillai Prabhakaran. The LTTE was forcibly holding them as human shields to protect its own fighters from Sri Lankan armed forces.