Axe MPs trip to Colombo, FICCI urged

Chennai, April 7 (IANS) Minister of State Environment and Forests Jayanthi Natarajan has urged industry lobby body FICCI to cancel a trip of Indian MPs to Sri Lanka to voice solidarity with Sri Lankan Tamils.

Natarajan made the appeal to the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Saturday after coming to know that the MPs were set to visit Sri Lanka.

“I call upon you to cancel this trip in solidarity with the suffering of innocent civilian Tamils in Sri Lanka and out of respect for the feelings of the people of Tamil Nadu,” she said.

Natarajan said she believed that the proposed trip “runs directly contrary to the anger and sorrow felt by the people of Tamil Nadu regarding the human rights violations by the Sri Lankan government”.

She said she was making the appeal in her personal capacity.

She expressed deep anguish over the killing of thousands of Tamil civilians by the Sri Lankan military during the end stages of the war that crushed the Tamil Tigers in 2009.

Natarajan is the second central minister from the Congress to speak out against Sri Lanka.

Shipping Minister G.K. Vasan had earlier demanded that the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) should not be held in Sri Lanka.

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