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DMK calls for “constructive measures” to help refugees

Special Correspondent

Resolution calls upon the Centre to prevail upon Sri Lankan government

— Photo: K.V. Srinivasan

Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi chairing the DMK executive committee meeting at the party headquarters in Chennai on Sunday.

CHENNAI: The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam on Sunday urged the Centre to take “constructive measures” to find a solution to the sufferings of the Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in camps in Tamil Nadu.

Recalling the State government's request to the Centre to provide permanent resident status to over 73,000 Tamil refugees living in the State, a resolution adopted at the high-level implementation committee meeting said that it was a matter of regret that no serious steps had been taken in this regard.

“I am not fully satisfied with the efforts,” Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi said, responding to a question on the subject.

The resolution also called upon the Centre to prevail upon the Sri Lankan government to utilise the Rs.500 crore allotted towards rehabilitating internally displaced Sri Lankan Tamils living in camps in Sri Lanka.

“Steps should be taken to resettle them in their homes. Livelihood should be provided to those who have already returned to their homes,” the resolution said.

Another resolution requested the Centre to take steps to secure the release of 75 Sri Lankan Tamils lodged in prisons in Malaysia.

Stating that it was a matter of concern that the Women Reservation Bill adopted in the Rajya Sabha was yet to be passed in the Lok Sabha, a resolution wanted the Centre to ensure its passage.

“All political parties should extend their cooperation for its passage,” the resolution said. Urging the Centre to take efforts on a war-footing to control the increase in the prices of essential commodities, the DMK wanted the Centre to amend the Essential Commodities Act, besides demanding a ban on futures trading.

Commenting on a resolution adopted on the Siruthavur land issue, Mr. Karunanidhi said the Kancheepuram district unit of the DMK had sought permission to launch a movement to reclaim the land for the Dalits. “We are considering their request,” he said.

A resolution thanking all political parties which had cooperated for the government's effort to revive the Legislative Council was adopted. Another resolution congratulated the Chief Minister for various welfare schemes including the insurance scheme launched in his name. Replying to a question on whether former AIADMK Minister S. Muthusamy would join the DMK, the Chief Minister said Mr. Muthusamy was yet to open channels of communication with the DMK regarding his future course of action.

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