MK fast, then slows down

(April 27, Chennai, Sri Lanka Guardian) Chief Minister and DMK president M Karunanidhi today went on an indefinite fast demanding immediate ceasefire in Sri Lanka and after a couple of hours called it off reportedly following an announcement from the Sri Lankan government that the war has ended.

Earlier in the day the the 85-year-old DMK patriarch came unannounced to the Anna Memorial on the Marina at 6 am to begin his protest. Speaking on the occasion, he said ‘Let me be one of his (Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse’s) victims’, said.

Despite his appeal to party leaders and activists not to undertake the fast, his son M K Azhagiri and a number of senior ministers and leaders along with their cadre began a solidarity fast throughout the State.

Concerned over his health, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi spoke to Karunanidhi and appealed to him to give up his protest fast but DMK sources said the Chief Minister politely told them then that he cannot heed to their appeals in view of the situation in Sri Lanka where innocent Tamils were killed.

During the conversation, Singh assured Karunanidhi that his government was in constant touch with the Sri Lankan government, pressurising it to announce a ceasefire and provide humanitarian aid to the Sri Lankan Tamils. Karunanidhi’s party MPs had made separate appeals to the Centre and Lankan government, to bring about a permanent ceasefire stating that their leader undertook the fast against medical advice ‘risking his precious life.’

Unhappy over the recent mission of NSA M K Narayanan and Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon to Colombo not yielding any result and the Sri Lankan government rejecting LTTE’s unilateral ceasefire offer, Karunanidhi thought of the matter throughout the night and came unannounced to the memorial of late C N Annadurai, his mentor, to begin the fast, sources said.

Accusing the Sri Lankan army of killing the Tamils in the island nation in the ongoing offensive against the LTTE, Karunanidhi said ‘this (fast) is my sacrifice for the cause of Tamils’. Karunanidhi’s close aides said he had not taken his medicines especially the pain killers prescribed after his surgery for back problems. Soon after the news of his protest spread, the DMK top leadership including Union Minister T R Baalu and party workers gathered at the fast site and urged him to give up his fast.

Congress leader G K Vasan also visited the protest site. Karunanidhi was soon seen lying on a bed as he received leaders and other visitors. Karunanidhi’s wives Dayalu and Rajathi, son M K Stalin, daughter Kanimozhi were around the fasting leader as the DMK workers repeatedly shouted slogans urging him to give up the fast.

In between, Karunanidhi, from his bed, appealed to people not to resort to closure of shops, stopping of buses and trains, saying life should go ahead normally. His personal physician, Dr Gopal was around to monitor his health.
-Sri Lanka Guardian
manuri said...

Thank God the sri lankan government announcement if not this poor creature would have staved to death.

Thankfully the annoucement come right on time,if not,what a tragedy would this have been I wonder