Now, Jayalalithaa steps up pressure on Centre over Lanka issue
New Delhi: After DMK chief Karunanidhi slammed the Centre for its "lukewarm" response on the Sri Lankan Tamils issue and threatened to walk out of the ruling alliance if it failed to move amendments to the US-sponsored resolution at the UNHRC, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa on Monday wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh saying that India must take a strong, historic and courageous stance on the issue.
"To assuage the legitimate sense of outrage and deeply hurt sentiments, it is absolutely important that India takes a strong stand in support of the US-sponsored resolution in the 22nd Session of the UN Human Rights Council and more importantly moves necessary independent amendments to further strengthen the resolution," she said.
In her letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the Chief Minister recalled she had earlier twice taken up with him, including in person, the need for New Delhi to take up the issue of war crimes and slapping economic sanctions on Sri Lanka till Tamils were fully resettled.
Quoting a report of the Office of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on Tamils, she said there was "a continued and sorry saga of human rights violations against" them.
She charged that the Rajapakse government was "not keen" on genuine reconciliation or even to allow the Sri Lankan Tamils to be rehabilitated, "let alone start life as equal citizens in that country, which is reflected in the lack of adequate action even on a relatively mild UNHRC Resolution."
"At this juncture, the ongoing 22nd session of the Human Rights Council is the most appropriate forum and occasion to mount further pressure on Sri Lanka to ensure accountability is established under an international framework for the war crimes and genocide committed in the closing stages of the civil war and the ongoing gross human rights abuses," she said.
Earlier DMK president M Karunanidhi had said, "If our demands are not met, it is doubtful whether our ties with the alliance (UPA) will continue...It won't continue is sure. He had added that he felt "let down" by the government on the issue.
Karunanidhi's remarks go one step further from his earlier threat to pull out his party nominees from Union Council of Ministers if the government failed to concede his party's demand on certain amendments to the US resolution relating to alleged war crimes and an international probe.
Addressing a press meet in Chennai the 88-year-old leader had said that irrespective of the US accepting India's amendments or not, New Delhi should move them at the UN human rights body.