TN leaders urge India to vote in favour of UN resolution against Sri Lanka
DMK president MK Stalin and other leaders on Sunday urged Central government leaders to support the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution against Sri Lanka for war crimes against Tamils in the island nation
DMK president MK Stalin and other leaders on Sunday urged Central government leaders to support the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution against Sri Lanka for war crimes against Tamils in the island nation.
Stalin, in a statement, asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to take a pro-Sri Lanka stand while voting on the resolution that comes up on March 22 (at its 46th regular session). Stalin said that Modi’s silence “has caused shockwaves to Tamils around the world and in Tamil Nadu” after Sri Lankan foreign secretary Jayanath Colombage had said that India would vote in support of his country. “Union foreign minister Mr Jaisankar went to Sri Lanka. Mr Modi and Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa held telephone talks but none of the press reports said that the talks discussed the resolution,” said Stalin. He called for Modi to gather support from other member states in favour of the resolution.
“While Tamils are anxiously waiting for India’s position, it is painful that the BJP government has allowed the Sri Lankan foreign secretary to decide India’s stand. Nine-crore Tamils living across the world will never forgive them if Tamil’s interests are betrayed,” he added.
DMK’s ally, Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) chief Vaiko, a known sympathiser of the outlawed militant group Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), said the BJP-led Centre won’t be forgiven if they favour Sri Lanka. The LTTE fought for an independent homeland for Tamil in Sri Lanka and was found responsible for assassinating former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in Tamil Nadu’s Sriperumbudur over the issue.
Leader of Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) and former Union minister Anbumani Ramadoss, who is in the NDA alliance in Tamil Nadu, wrote to external affairs minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar on Sunday requesting to vote for the resolution on promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka. He recalled that Modi in a public meeting in Chennai in February had assured that India was committed to ensuring that Tamils lived in Sri Lanka in peace, dignity and equality. “Justice for Tamils killed in the 2009 genocide in Sri Lanka remains elusive for the victims after 12 years,” Ramadoss said in his statement. “Peace in Sri Lanka and maintaining India’s position as the dominant ally are vital for our national interests,” he said, adding that Sri Lanka has changed its position with India and taken its relationship with China to a higher level.
In the last twelve years, there have been seven resolutions on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC where India’s position varies from voting against Sri Lanka and abstaining as influenced by local coalition politics after a three-decade-long war between the army and the LTTE ended in 2009. Tamil Nadu’s politicians have consistently advocated for equal rights for Tamils who are a minority in the Sinhalese- Buddhist island nation and continue to seek devolution of powers through the 13th Amendment.
Ahead of the vote in March 2013, the DMK pulled out of the UPA alliance which was in power at the centre for not doing enough to address the alleged human rights violations of Tamils. The DMK and ruling AIADMK, in their election manifesto for the assembly polls on April 6, made promises for Sri Lankan refugees living in the state from granting them dual citizenship to international probe to monthly payouts.