Even as the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) took up for discussion a U.S.-sponsored resolution on issues related to Sri Lanka, New Delhi on Wednesday said Colombo would have to fix accountability for the alleged violation of human rights and torture of Tamils and ensure a sustainable settlement of issues concerning them.
“There is no future [in Sri Lanka] unless there is reconciliation, there is no future unless there is accountability,” External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said, replying to a calling attention motion in the Rajya Sabha on the plight of Tamils in Sri Lanka.
The Minister expressed concern at the alleged brutal killing of LTTE chief Prabhakaran’s 12-year-old son Balachandran even as DMK and AIADMK sought an independent probe into it by an international agency.
Mr. Khurshid, however, said India cannot adjudicate about the truth behind the “very moving, very tragic, very sad” incident.
On some MPs’ demand, particularly of those of the DMK and AIADMK, that India should vote against Sri Lanka at the U.N., Mr. Khurshid said: “What point we make in the U.N. can’t be foreclosed today. If Sri Lanka is able to show there is movement forward, there will be one conclusion; if Sri Lanka is not able to show there is movement forward, there will be another conclusion.”
Mr. Khurshid noted that India had urged Sri Lanka to implement the constructive recommendations contained in the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) in an effective and time-bound manner. However, this was rejected by MPs, who said a U.N. panel of experts had lambasted the credibility of the LLRC.
Participating in the discussion, AIADMK’s V. Maitreyan lambasted the Government of India for ignoring the ‘genocide’ of Tamils in Sri Lanka. He objected to Mr. Khurshid describing Sri Lanka as a friendly country and alleged that the Centre had failed to ensure equality, dignity, justice and self-respect for Tamils in Sri Lanka. He asked the government to take up the issue of war crimes against the Tamils to the U.N. and initiate actions, including an economic embargo.
D. Raja of the CPI alleged that the Sri Lankan army was continuing with the “structural genocide” of Tamils and accused India of ignoring it.
Tiruchi Siva of the DMK raised the issue of the death of Prabakaran’s son. He said India should support the U.S. resolution in the UNHRC. He demanded an impartial international inquiry into the matter.