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CPM snubs anti-Tiger Lankan friend

New Delhi, Feb. 25: The CPM will not invite the “Sinhalese Marxist Nationalist” party Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna to its party congress in Coimbatore next month, breaking with a three-decade-old tradition to avoid offending Tamil sentiments.

CPM officials say that inviting the staunchly anti-LTTE Sri Lankan party to the March 29-April 3 conclave in Tamil Nadu can, among other things, ruffle ally DMK’s feathers.

Besides, the CPM has identified Tamil Nadu as one of the “priority” states where it can improve its base, and is keen to avoid alienating the large sections of Tamils sympathetic to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

The JVP, which stands for a “unitary Sri Lanka”, wants the Tigers wiped out, whether through military combat or ideological means. The CPM wants a solution to the island nation’s civil war through dialogue.

The JVP was founded in 1965 with the aim of bringing about a “socialist revolution” in Sri Lanka, and the CPM had been inviting it to its party congresses since the 1970s.

Sources said that since the last CPM party congress in Delhi, which the JVP attended, the Sri Lankan party had stepped up its “rhetoric of Sinhalese chauvinism”, and that this was not going to help solve the ethnic conflict.

The sources, however, insisted that the CPM still had a warm relationship with the JVP.

The CPI, however, has invited the Sri Lankan party to its party congress, to be held in Hyderabad from March 23 to 27. JVP parliamentarians Bimal Ratnayake and Ramalingam Chandrasekhar are expected at the conference.

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