Hot reception for Sharon in India
A demonstration in New Delhi organised by the combined left parties of India greeted the visit of Ariel Sharon to India as the guest of the right- wing BJP Government headed by Prime Minister Vajpayee. Speaker after speaker strongly condemned Ariel Sharon for his brutal repression of the Palestinian people. As Israeli Defence Minister they charged that in 1982, he was directly responsible for the massacre of over 3000 Palestinians in Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon. He was forced to resign as Defence Minister after this massacre. Setting the tone the Communist Party of India (Marxist) Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury condemned the Vajpayee Government for having invited Sharon to India and called upon the Government to give up its policy of appeasing the brutal Zionist regime at the dictates of the US and in total negation of India's foreign policy. Yechury, amidst cheers, said that in a way it was natural that the killers of Mahatama Gandhi had invited the killers of the Palestinian people and warned that the Government's hasty move could alienate support for India from the rest of the Arab world. He said that an overwhelming majority of the people of India supported the Palestinian Liberation struggle and recalled how Hitler had to face humiliation at the end, caught in his own wrong moves. Sharon was forced to cut short his visit to India as a consequence of the intensification of the struggle by the Palestinian people against the assassinations and other terrorist acts of the Israeli authorities.