Tamils urge 'fatherland' India not to back Sri Lanka
The Tamil diaspora in Toronto has joined Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi in pleading with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to not support a resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Council in support of Sri Lanka.
The draft resolution by India, China, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and others "commends" Colombo for dealing with the problem of displaced people and seeks international support for it.
The resolution is in response to another resolution, backed by 30-odd Western nations, which calls for investigations into human rights violations by both Sri Lanka and the Tamil Tigers during the civil war.
In his letter to the prime minister, Karunanidhi has said: "Though there is on one side a question of interfering in the internal affairs of a country, which would affect its sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence, Sri Lanka should be treated as a special case.
"It is widely believed by millions of Tamils spread across the world that the draft resolution now presented by the Sri Lankan Government to the United Nations Human Rights Council is largely against the interests of Sri Lankan Tamils and hence I kindly request you to take appropriate decision in this regard, having in mind the sentiments of the Sri Lankan Tamils and their future welfare."
Calling India their "fatherland", Tamil Canadians Tuesday said New Delhi's support for the resolution "absolving Sri Lanka of its war crimes" was shocking for their community worldwide.
"The military phase of the Tamil struggle has come to a halt. Time has come for India to be the voice of the voiceless Tamils," said Canadian Tamil Congress spokesman David Poopalapillai.
"Talking about the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) and the past is irrelevant now. It is a new era in our history.
"It is hurting us that our fatherland - and the nation that preached the Gandhian principles of justice to the world - is holding hands with the violators of human rights. Fatherland (India) should reach out to its Tamil kids and embrace them," he added.
Poopalapillai said the Tamil community understood India's compulsions.
"But the least New Delhi can do for us is to stay neutral, not support Sri Lanka," he pleaded.