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PMK seeks clarification

By Our Special Correspondent

CHENNAI, MAY. 18. The PMK, a constituent of the ruling NDA, today asked the Centre to clarify the reason for the visit of the overall commander of the Sri Lankan Armed Forces, Gen. Rohan D'Silva Daluwate, to India.

The party founder, Dr. S. Ramadoss, in a letter to the Prime Minister, the Home Minister, the External Affairs Minister, and the Defence Minister, said the visit of the General to India at the time of crucial fighting in Jaffna was ``mysterious''.

If the general had come seeking the help of India to ``avert a humiliating defeat at the hands of the LTTE'', India should turn down the request. ``We should maintain the proclaimed stand of not rendering any military assistance to Sri Lanka,'' he said.

Dr. Ramadoss said the LTTE, ``with a great human gesture'', had offered a ceasefire to Sri Lanka after surrounding about 40,000 Sri Lankan Armymen. But the Sri Lankan president, Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunga, had turned down the offer. ``When she has exhibited such an aversion against Tamils even in the midst of a prospect of Sri Lankan Army's defeat, we should not extend to her any help, including humanitarian assistance, at this juncture,'' he said.

The General today returned to Colombo via Chennai. He arrived in the city in the evening by a Jet Airways flight from Bangalore, and left for Colombo in the night.

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