New Delhi: After DMK chief M Karunanidhi’s ultimatum to pull out of UPA if the government did not vote against Sri Lanka on UN resolution, senior UPA government’s ministers met the octogenarian leader on Monday evening to discuss the matter of violation of civil rights of Tamils in Sri Lanka.

Union ministers P Chidambaram, A K Antony and Ghulam Nabi Azad late on Monday held talks with Karunanidhi, who had threatened that his party will pull out of the ruling UPA if it failed to move amendments to the US-sponsored resolution on the Sri Lankan Tamil issue at the UNHRC.

Jaya asks Centre for tough stand on SL
Chidambaram hints at voting against SL
Support to UPA doubtful, says DMK

Congress sources have been maintaining that the three leaders have been asked to convince Karunanidhi that Government will not compromise with the interests of the Sri Lankan Tamils at any cost. Both Chidambaram and Antony are said to have good rapport with the DMK supremo while Azad is the Congress in charge of Tamil Nadu affairs.

After threatening to pull out DMK ministers from the Government on Friday, Karunanidhi had shot off letters to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, saying he feels "let down" by the "lukewarm" response of the government.

The US-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka is expected to come up for voting at the United Nations Human Rights Council session in Geneva on March 21.

India calls off defence talks with Lanka

Meanwhile, India has called off Defence Secretary-level talks with Sri Lanka which were slated to begin on March 23 amid political row over ethnic Tamil issue.

No reason was given for cancellation of the Secretary-level talks which were to be held here for three days. "The Annual Defence Dialogue with Sri Lanka has been called off," a source said, adding new dates have not been decided yet.
During the talks, the two sides were to discuss ways to strengthen defence ties and finalize future military exercises. The decision has come at a time when Tamil Nadu parties are up in arms over India's engagement with Sri Lanka.
India had shifted the exercise between Special Forces of the two countries from Belgaum in Karnataka to Nahan in Himachal Pradesh. Likewise, it had also instructed the Navy to hold war games with the Lankan Navy away from the waters of four South Indian states.


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