Saturday, April 25, 2009

Cease hostilities in Sri Lanka immediately: Prakash Karat

From India News Network (INN)

New Delhi, April 24: The CPI (M) has urged the UPA government to bring maximum pressure on the Sri Lankan government to make it cease hostilities immediately till all the civilians trapped in the conflict zone are evacuated. Addressing a media conference today at the Party headquarters, AKG Bhavan, CPI (M) general secretary Prakash Karat said mere voicing of concern by our government would not help in saving the lives of thousands of Tamil civilians caught in the fighting. He said the Indian government should persuade the Sri Lankan government to heed to the request of the UN Security Council which has appealed for allowing international relief agencies to enter the area and do their work. He also said the LTTE must lay down arms.

Karat charged the UPA government of surreptitiously forging a deep security and military collaboration with Israel. Referring to the recent launch of an Israeli-made satellite, RISAT-2 by ISRO, he sought to know whether it was part of the agreement arrived at with Israel for launching its three spy satellites? Recalling how the UPA government tried to obfuscate the issue by terming the launch of the first satellite in January of this year as a ‘commercial operation’, Karat said we got to know from the Israeli media about that satellite being a sophisticated spy satellite to be used to monitor countries like Iran. About the latest launch while it is being claimed that it is for our security purposes, Karat said all technical details show that it was of the same type as the first one and was also put in the same orbit. “So how will this help our security?” he questioned. He also wanted the government to clarify whether the launch of this satellite was a joint venture which involves sharing of intelligence with Israel.

The CPI (M) strongly opposed the joint naval exercises with the Indian-US-Japanese navies to be held off the coast of Okinawa in Japan in the end of April. After the signing of the Defence Framework Agreement, the UPA government is increasingly facilitating the US attempts to get India and Japan collaborate militarily with it, he said. Karat asked whether the ongoing elections made the government to carry out these ‘Malabar exercises’ off the coast of Japan.

On the BJP leader L K Advani’s somersault on the India-US nuclear deal issue, Karat said the reason for this is because the BJP cannot take a stand against US even if grave national interests are involved. Advani who had on the floor of the parliament stated that their government would renegotiate the deal, is now saying that since it is an international treaty it must continue. Karat said unlike BJP and Congress, which often deride the regional parties for lacking a ‘national vision’, the regional parties like AIADMK and TDP have taken a forthright position on this issue in their manifestos.

Referring to the BJP’s decision of fielding its senior leader from Darjeeling and its open support for formation of Darjeeling and Kamtapur states, Karat charged that the BJP is intent on breaking up West Bengal state into small pieces. He said this is happening at a time when all disruptive anti-Left forces have intensified their attacks on CPI (M). He mentioned how in the last three days five CPI (M) cadre have been brutally killed by Maoists in Salboni, Saluka villages in Lalgarh and Balarampur in Purulia district. Since the announcement of election around two dozen CPI (M) cadre have been killed by these forces. He said these planned attacks on CPI (M) cadre are aimed at disrupting the CPI (M) election campaign. Karat asked the Election Commission to take special measures to ensure free and fair electioneering in these areas around Lalgarh.

Answering questions regarding post poll scenario, Karat underlined that the Left parties, which are in a pre-poll alliance with parties like AIADMK, TDP, JD(S), BJD etc will take a collective decision in consultation with these parties only after the elections. “We are for formation of a non-Congress, non-BJP government at the centre after the elections”, he said.

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