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Updated: March 14, 2012 03:27 IST

Sri Lankan ‘rights violations' issue rocks Parliament

J. Balaji
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Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee speaks to the media at Parliament House on the first day of the Budget Session. File photo
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee speaks to the media at Parliament House on the first day of the Budget Session. File photo

MPs want India to vote for U.S.-sponsored resolution in Geneva

The functioning of both Houses of Parliament was disrupted on Tuesday, when members cutting across party lines vociferously demanded that India support the resolution to be moved by the U.S., France and Norway against Sri Lanka in the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) at Geneva.

The resolution wants those guilty of “human rights violations” in the war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam to be brought to book.

Parliament had the issue taken up by members for the second consecutive day (on Monday too slogans were raised during the President's address), even as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh wrote a letter to M. Karunanidhi, president of the DMK, a major ally of the UPA, stating that the government of India was “engaged with all parties in an effort to achieve an outcome that is forward looking and that ensures that rather than deepening confrontation and mistrust between the concerned parties, a way forward is found on issues related to accountability and reconciliation.”

Earlier, in the Lok Sabha, immediately after the House assembled, DMK's parliamentary party leader T.R. Baalu, supported by his party colleagues, took up the issue. Some members of the AIADMK, CPI and CPI (M) too were on their feet wanting to speak. The former Union Textiles Minister, Dayanidhi Maran (DMK), was seen waving a placard in support of the Sri Lankan Tamils.

Intervening, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherejee said “the issue of violation of human rights by Sri Lanka” was a concern of the international community and India was fully aware of the sensitivity of the issue.

The Centre had already explained its position in detail through individual letters to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and Mr. Karunanidhi.

“First of all, the date has not yet been fixed [for the UNHRC meeting] and the traditional position of India has all along been — not only in respect of this case — that we normally do not support any country-specific Resolution.”

But India's view on the issue would be decided as and when the date was finalised for the UNHRC meeting. If MPs want any further clarification or detailed explanation on the subject, he would request External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna to make a brief statement, Mr. Mukherjee said.

In the Rajya Sabha, as the House met for the day, members rushed to the well, raising the issue. Later Chairman Hamid Ansari allowed AIADMK member V. Maitreyan, Tiruchi Siva (DMK), M. Venkaiah Naidu (BJP), T.K. Rangarajan (CPI-M), D. Raja (CPI) and B.S. Gnanadesikan (Congress) to speak.

Intervening, Parliamentary Affairs Minister P.K. Bansal gave assurances but that did not calm the members, who wanted a clarification from Dr. Singh. Amid the din, Dr. Ansari adjourned the House till noon. The pandemonium continued at noon too necessitating two more adjournments and finally the House was adjourned for the day.

Earlier Mr. Bansal said India's meticulous adherence and respect for human rights was respected the world over.

Meanwhile, Dr. Singh, in his letter to Mr. Karunanidhi, a copy of which was released by the DMK in Chennai, said India had urged Sri Lanka to put in place a process of resettlement, rehabilitation and reconstruction (of Tamils there).

India's objective, as always, remains the achievement of a future for the Tamil community in Sri Lanka marked by equality, dignity, justice and self-respect.

New Delhi had emphasised to Colombo the importance of a genuine process of reconciliation to address the grievances of the Tamils, he said, adding that New Delhi welcomed the report of the Sri Lankan Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Committee (LLRC). India believed implementation of the LLRC recommendations would contribute to the process of reconciliation.

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On behalf of Tamil all over the world, we thank Kanimozhi & all MPs from Tamilnadu raising their voice against the atrocities made by Srilankan army in the Rajya Sabha

from:  Subramaniyan
Posted on: Mar 16, 2012 at 17:18 IST

Hats off Kanimozhi for raising her strong voice in the Rajya Sabha against the atrocities made by Srilankan army

from:  Arunkumar
Posted on: Mar 16, 2012 at 17:07 IST

The amount of human right violation conducted by the Indian police and the Indain govt. would be equal if not exceeding the atrocities conducted by the Srilankan Army. I think it's going to be futile to ask one of the repressive govt. to support for Human rights violation which they themselves commit on day to day basis. The people of India should show their opposition on the ballot box, but the problem does any Indian political party cares about Human rights violation.
The practical soultion to the current situation is that Indian govt. for namesake support the UNHRC resolution brought by the America just to oshow the Tamils and the world that they care about these issues, otherwise they would loose politically a lot in Tamilnadu and will become an extinct party in Tamilnadu.

from:  R.Manivarmane
Posted on: Mar 16, 2012 at 16:35 IST

@ Shiva and Kumar. Will you guys shed that 'Tamil' card and separatism mindset. India is a country of many states and Tamil Nadu is one among it. Unfortunately Tamil Nadu is the only state which is opposite in terms of national integrity and implementation of projects. Before posting your melodrama, can you tell me about the Tamils bloody past,of wiping out the minorities in the civil war at Sri Lanka.

Why you guys are mute, when it comes of blatant human rights violations by LTTE terrorists. In the name of Tamil rights, you killed thousands of civilians, abused women and children and didnt even spare the national leaders of Sri Lanka and India. Why should we symapthise with you, when Tamils sympathise with LTTE, knowing that they were criminals first.

Come clean before playing your card. Besides India doesn't need to interfere on the internal affairs of another country. The bill which is to be brought in UN is by the nations who have massacred millions in Iraq, Afghanistan.

from:  SKA
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 19:16 IST

Clearly the government of India has not the moral or political will to stop the genocide of innocent people in Lanka. Amnesty International published its annual report on Lanka today. Unless Indians want to be seen as a morally and spiritually decrypt country, the Indian government will and should support the Tamil issue by supporting the resolution against Lanka. When countries like Canada, UK, USA, Japan are supporting it even though they do not have significant Tamil populations like India does clearly highlights the graveness of this issue. We must support all the Tamil MPs who have taken this matter seriously and appreciate them for the efforts in bringing justice to millions of innocent Tamil people.

from:  Eric Selvaraj
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 17:38 IST

All that Tamils wanted was a sense of dignity in country they have lived for thousands of years. All they got was a careless attitude from the world who allowed the Sri Lankan war criminals kill innocent Tamil civilians. India’s congress party under Sonia Gandhi did nothing to stop the Tamil ethnic cleansing. Some Indian politicians and leaders may also be in trouble that allowed Sri Lankan Government to kill Tamils without any mercy for women, and children.

An independent human rights investigation is paramount to apply the International Law.

from:  Shiva
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 15:38 IST

Indian Congres regime not only showing its weakness to the world on standing firm on human rights and democratic principles but also they expose that they are corrupt, no morals, no ethics and support alleged war criminals and human rights abusers.

Indians must wake up and be firm against corrupt leaders as they tarnish the image of the Gandhian India!

from:  Shiva
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 15:20 IST

India should join the west against Sri Lanka so as to sort out China's recent involvement in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka will not trust India and China will remain their (Sri Lankans) friend whether or not India supports USA's resolution against Sri Lanka.

New Delhi should not be impervious to South Indian sentiments and alienate them further. South Indians are the natural and best friends/citizens of New Delhi, not Sinhalese.

from:  kumar
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 14:58 IST

LTTE cadres were trained in S.India in over 25 camps.Whenever it pleased them LTTE cadres killed many Tamilspeaking people who , in some cses were their own people. Where were the present sympathisers then? Many were killed in the heart of Chennai some years back.Will the sympathetic leaders welcome and give refuge to the Tamil speaking people if they choose to come back to their places of origin? Then they will play a different tune.That is politics.

Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 11:29 IST

India supports the cause of Tamil diaspora in Srilanka. We firmly
believe that the perpetrators of human rights violations, atrocities
against the tamils must be brought to book. We aspire a future for
Tamilians in Srilanka ensuring equality and dignity. But Srilanka has
really been very cooperative, friendly with India and it has taken all
our concerns seriously. Srilanka is a close neighbor and we need to
increase our efforts to engage it bilaterally and making sure it
fulfills its commitment towards reconciliation process. Supporting UN
resolution would mean incapability of India handling issues in Indian
subcontinent and internationally and moreover it would arraign
Srilanka, a close neighbor.

from:  Jeewan Gaur
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 11:15 IST

Tamilians must understand that British are using Human right issue to drive a wedge between India and Sri Lanka. They are expert in dividing. Let us settle our issues with Sri Lanka separately. We dont need British or American resolutions to settle issues with Sri lanka.

from:  Anil P.
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 11:03 IST

India has to decide whether she want Sri Lanka to be his friend or a foe. It is disturbing that India has its own lots of problems including internal security issues. It is better for India's future if it maintains cordial relationship with its neighbours. However, A particular community is worrying about Tamil speaking populations in Srilanka. we should understand it is their personal matter. Tamil speaking population doesnot mean they are Indians. Lets first solve problems in our own home then concern after whole world.

from:  reetu
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 10:30 IST

First, it would be a lie to say that the government cannot support "country-specific Resolutions". In 2008, India voted to support the (Richard Goldstone) UN report that criticized Israel. It has also supported country-specific resolutions on other occasions. When a country commits war crimes, the resolution has to be country-specific. It is absurd to say that India can't support country-specific resolutions. The US, European countries, the UN, the Indonesian guy who lead the UN panel are all concerned about the war crimes. These countries and individuals acted on the basis of basic humanity. It is unfortunate that the Indian government neither cares about war crimes nor that the victims share a common heritage with India (in terms of language, religion and culture). By ignoring these crimes against humanity, the Indian government is betraying everything that India stands for.

from:  Ram Us
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 07:57 IST

"...Earlier Mr. Bansal said India's meticulous adherence and respect for human rights was respected the world over..."
Mr. Bansal and our elected government is showing utter contempt for basic honesty and truth, not to speak of human rights and justice. We just need to support an UN resolution - even that is so difficult for our government to do. Incompetence and spinelessness know no limits.

from:  Amit
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 07:15 IST

As a common man who has a say in the policies only once in 5 years, the
best we can do is "Remember" and never forget the inaction and spineless
attitude of the ruling party at the center.
As a Consumer we can together act. Economics is the major prime mover
for decisions. Let us together boycott everything Sri Lankan. If we
gather the mass, we can make the change.

from:  Anand
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 06:39 IST

For atleast once do the right thing. Genocide is worng. Guilty should be punished no matter which ethnicity they belong to or guilty is you friend. We are a nation who believes in "Sathya mewa Jayathe". For atleast once adhere to this motto.
Save the face of Nation from double standards.

from:  senthil
Posted on: Mar 13, 2012 at 22:52 IST think that there is something the DMK and AIADMK agree on, whatever
be the ulterior motive.

from:  Monica Hariharan
Posted on: Mar 13, 2012 at 18:51 IST

It is an appalling tragedy of enormous proportions that when 3 foreign cuntries far,far away from Sri Lanka and India,have come forward to seek proper remedies based on fundamental justice and respect for life which our Indian civilization holds as sacred and inviolable, both our our Government's spokesmem in Lok Sabha,the Hon.P.M.and house leader,Shri Mukherjee are indulging in circumlocution and demoralizing evasion of a burning issue, which has to be confronted head on here and now, so that the agony and humiliation of the Tamil minority in Sri Lanka could be ended without any delay.Let Jhsnsi Ki Raani inspire us now.
How far more could the prestige of Bharatham sink down?!How will other nations respect our citizens travelling or residing abroad?
No wonder Norway with just 5 million people"kidnapped" our two tiny fellow citizens,ill-treating them by putting them in foster homes run by strangers,and puts conditions for their release,openly challenging our sovereignty!What next?

from:  Bishop Mar George Theckedath
Posted on: Mar 13, 2012 at 17:53 IST

The present congress regime has to be thrown out. When the countries
far away from Lanka are voicing their concern and condemning the
genocide killing of around 50000 persons (actual figure may be more),
the congress govt at the centre is justifying the brutal genocide
Cong is not at all worried about the loss of human lives. That’s why
they are adamant in commissioning the deadly Nuclear Power Plant even
after the request of the Idinthakarai and other villages. They are
requesting the cong regime to give peaceful, healthy existence of
themselves and their future generations.
It’s shame people are allowing the present cong govt even after the
commonwealth scam, 2g scam, adarsh scam, 25 lakh crores black money in
foreign banks, etc.

from:  Rajan
Posted on: Mar 13, 2012 at 17:38 IST

What India should decide is whether India wants to remain Sri Lanka's
friend or push Sri Lanka to China. It is as simple as that. If India
votes for the resolution, India must be prepared to take back Tamils
from Sri Lanka.

from:  Izeth
Posted on: Mar 13, 2012 at 17:31 IST

Let us see - Sri Lanka (SL) has committed atrocities against Tamil minorities during the anti-LTTE war, even now discriminates against Tamil people, it allows China to build naval bases, it gets preferential free-trade deal with India, it refuses to heed India's security concerns while giving oil drilling contracts in the channel separating India and SL. So why India refuses to support the humanitarian resolution to bring guilty SL soldiers to book? Who is UPA govt out to please here? Is this that madame is so hateful of LTTE that she would see no wrong with SL actions! LTTE is vanquished, it is time to move on from that saga, time to bring guilty SL soldiers to account for their actions against Tamil minorities.

from:  Jitendra Dutta
Posted on: Mar 13, 2012 at 16:21 IST

The present government of India does not have the moral courage to stand
up and say, what has taken place in the final phases of the last Eelam
War was a carefully scripted systematic annihilation of innocent Tamils
of North Eastern Srilanka by the Lankan war machinery with the full
knowledge of the hierarchy of the Srilankan government. It is too naive
to believe that India, the nearest neighbor has no knowledge of this
heinous war crime. An honest question is, why should the innocent people
pay such a heavy price for the atrocities committed by the LTTE?

from:  Syed
Posted on: Mar 13, 2012 at 15:49 IST

"Our traditional stand has been that we have never supported any country-specific resolution at the UNHCHR" what? does the govt not know that this is a Tamil issue? As we all Tamil Nadu's interests are always more important than India's interests.

from:  George
Posted on: Mar 13, 2012 at 15:49 IST

There is no words to praise the DMK delegates in the assembly raising there voice against the atrocities made by Srilankan army duting the battle with LTTE. Those who died was very lucky, but DMK is killing the Indian population total by creating People like Raja , Kanimozhi, Dayanidhi,and Chidambaram, Try to send them to Srilankan Assembly the needs will automatically come to your hands.

Kindly discuss and pass the necessary Bills which is pending in parlaiment for decades , Please stope this type of mimics parade inside the Parliament

from:  PRANAB
Posted on: Mar 13, 2012 at 15:33 IST

This Union Government has scant respect for Human Rights and turning a blind eye to the feelings and emotions of Tamil people.
All Tamil parties should stand united and make sure that voice of Tamil people are heard

from:  Hemnath S
Posted on: Mar 13, 2012 at 15:30 IST

Let us know(indian people) why should always the government be
TRADITIONAL?Just keep the box aside and look into the severity of the

from:  sankar
Posted on: Mar 13, 2012 at 15:28 IST

India should have the boldness to condem gross human rights violation done to native Tamils of Ceylon. Killing of Prabhakran's 12 old son is a case in point to the extent of this violation. How many children, women, old people killed, god knows. I would like to hilight LTTE was fighhting for freedom agianst rascist Sinhales. Compare this with Osama Bi Laden who was killing all and sundry. Even then USA eliminated only him not his children or his 4 wives. If discent in any country can be handled this way, why we are not doing it in Kashmir?
DMK is milking the current situation. While this autrocity was going on they could have pulled the plug of govt of India and forced it to intervene. why suddenly this awakening? Only when not in power they will think of Tamil's welfare?

from:  Ayyappa
Posted on: Mar 13, 2012 at 15:23 IST
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