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India abstains from UNHRC vote on Sri Lanka

India on Thursday abstained from voting as the United Nations Human Rights panel passed a resolution on Sri Lanka seeking an international probe on allegations of war crimes, according to TV reports.

india Updated: Mar 28, 2014 02:26 IST
KV Lakshmana
KV Lakshmana
Hindustan Times

Dravidian parties and pro-Tamil organisations are livid over India abstaining during the vote on a US resolution against Sri Lanka.

The implication of this decision on the fate of the Congress party in the 2014 general elections can best be gauged from the reaction of Viiduthalai Chirutaigal Katchi's Tiruvallur constituency candidate N Ravikumar.

"Since Congress is isolated, it is on a suicide mission in Tamil Nadu," he said.

VCK is an alliance partner of the DMK.

Leader of a pro-Tamil organisation Tamizhaga Desiya Koottani, Sambandham also said, "We are very angry and upset that India did not vote against Sri Lanka."

Initial reactions from the two Dravidian majors - the DMK and the AIADMK - were similar, except AIADMK was more aggressive in its outrage against New Delhi.

"We are extremely upset. India should have voted against Sri Lanka. New Delhi has betrayed (the people of Tamil Nadu)," said DMK spokesperson TKS Elangovan during an interview to a private television channel.

AIADMK leader and former finance minister C Ponnaiyan was more vitriolic and alleged that New Delhi was constantly indifferent to Tamils and Tamil sentiments.

So it was not surprising that it helped the Sri Lankan government of its friend Rajapakse by abstaining, he added.

He was only echoing the sentiments of his leader, AIADMK general secretary and Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa who had demanded that India move a resolution at UNHCR and strengthen the US resolution against Sri Lanka.

This is an issue that she raises at every public meeting during her campaigning for the general elections. This, coupled with Tamil fishermen issue form a highly emotive issue in Tamil Nadu and she paints the Congress and the DMK with the same brush on this.

Last week, she had written a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh demanding that India take a strong stand against Sri Lanka at the Geneva UNHCR conference.

Leaders of all political parties were out campaigning and were not readily available for comments.

A political analyst said on condition of anonymity that the silence of big leaders, couple of hours after the voting, was surprising.

First Published: Mar 27, 2014 18:27 IST