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Jayalalithaa goes on fast on Sri Lankan issue; slams Centre, DMK

Chennai : Launching a day-long fast to express solidarity with the Sri Lankan Tamils, AIADMK leader J Jayalalithaa on Monday slammed the Centre and the DMK government in Tamil Nadu for not having any "genuine concern" for the Tamils in the island nation.

"The UPA Government failed miserably by not despatching immediate humanitarian aid. Why did not the Government send relief material such as food, medicines and clothes? The Centre, as well as the ruling DMK (which is a constituent of the UPA) have no genuine concerns for the (Sri Lankan) Tamil people," she said.

Jayalalithaa said though the fast, aimed at pressuring the Centre to use its good offices with Sri Lanka to declare an immediate ceasefire in the island nation, "would not bring relief to the "hunger-struck Tamils," it would, however, convey the "sentiments and anger of the people of Tamil Nadu against the State and Central governments." Announcing that her party would collect funds for the Sri Lankan Tamils, she made the first personal contribution of Rs five lakh.

Describing the Congress and DMK's decision to continue their alliance as "borne out of absurd courage," Jayalalithaa, who had recently made a vain bid to woo Congress by urging it to leave the "DMK quicksand," said the people will give a "drubbing" to the alliance in the elections.

Besides party leaders and hundreds of workers, AIADMK ally and CPI state Secretary D Pandian also joined the fast being observed near the Chepauk cricket stadium.




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