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TN MPs to tour Lankan refugee camps

October 09, 2009 23:36 IST

A delegation of MPs from Tamil Nadu will be leaving for Sri Lanka tomorrow to get first hand account of the conditions prevailing in the camps housing Lankan Tamil refugees displaced by the war between the island army and the Liberation Tigers of the Tamil Eelam.

The 10-member team that include parliamentarians from the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Congress and Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), would submit a report to the Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on their return, Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president K V Thangkabalu toldĀ media-persons after meeting the CM at his residence, along with the members of the delegation.

Karunanidhi, in turn, would communicate with the Centre on the steps required for the welfare of the Tamils, he said. "The delegation will be a fact-finding team, which will tour Sri Lanka for five days starting October 10 and meetĀ  people lodged in the camps to know the ground reality," he said.

Thangkabalu said DMK parliamentary party leader T R Baalu would head the team and other members would be Kanimozhi, daughter of Karunanidhi, T K S Elangovan, Helen Davidson and A K S Vijayan from DMK and Sudharasana Natchiappan, N S V Chitan, J M Haroon, K S Azhagiri from the Congress and VCK chief Thol Thirumavalavan, he said. Commenting on the visit, Kanimozhi, who is a member of the Rajya Sabha, said "we hope it is not just a guided tour and we are taken to places that have not been visited before."

To a question on the places the team will be visiting, Thangkabalu said officials from India and Sri Lanka have worked that out but declined to reveal the details. The team will also meet Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakshe and other leaders. Karunanidhi along with leaders of other political parties had demanded that a delegation of MPs should be sent to Sri Lanka to know the 'plight' of internally displaced persons in the camps. He had also written to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the issue. DMK, Congress and VCK contested the Lok Sabha polls as part of the Democratic Progressive Alliance.

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