PM's assurance to Congress MPs
As the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), an ally of the UPA government, and Opposition parties, with members mainly from Tamil Nadu, continued to disrupt both Houses of Parliament for the third consecutive day on Wednesday on the Sri Lankan Tamil issue, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh reportedly said the subject, which is a “very sensitive and delicate one,” should be handled keeping in mind the overall interests of Tamils in the island nation.
Dr. Singh conveyed this to a group of Congress MPs from Tamil Nadu who met him under the leadership of TNCC president B.S. Gnanadesikan here on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, some members became very aggressive in Parliament and those belonging to the AIADMK tore up a copy of the statement of External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna on the issue made in both Houses before staging a walkout.
Mr. Gnanadesikan, who is also a member of the Rajya Sabha, apprised the Prime Minister of the general demand from Tamil Nadu that India support the resolution to be moved by the United States on ‘Promoting Reconciliation and Accountability in Sri Lanka' at the ongoing 19th session of the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva.
The resolution seeks to condemn and seek an independent probe into the war crimes committed by Sri Lankan security forces against the Tamil population during their fight against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in 2009.
Dr. Singh briefed the Congress MPs on the efforts taken by India in the international arena by holding talks on the draft resolution for achieving a forward looking outcome.
“I fully understand the sentiments of people of Tamil Nadu on the issue. India attached high priority to the safety, prosperity and well-being of Lankan Tamils,” the Prime Minister said, according to Mr. Gnanadesikan.
The delegation wanted India to take all efforts keeping the best interests of Lankan Tamils in mind so that they could peacefully co-exist with their Sinhalese brothers.
The delegation demanded that the Sri Lankan government be made accountable for all its past actions, particularly alleged human rights violations.
Meanwhile, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi member in the Lok Sabha Thol. Thirumavalavan staged a dharna near the Gandhi statue seeking India's support for the resolution.
The latest developments assume importance even as the U.S. has said, according to media reports, that unless Sri Lanka reconciles with minority Tamils and addresses allegations of war crimes, it will risk renewed conflict.