PM indicates support to anti-SL resolution, Jaya says not enough

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Bowing to Tamil sentiments expressed worldwide, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told Parliament Monday India was “inclined to vote” in support of a US-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka for alleged war crimes at United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC).

With this, he also staved off a possible DMK desertion of his cabinet, besides combined wrath of political parties in Tamil Nadu and Tamil outfits who had announced bandhs and fasting on the issue.

Tamil Nadu chief minister J. Jayalalithaa, however, brushed aside the exuberance pointing out that PM had not come out clearly in support of the US resolution, nor did he condemn Sri Lanka for war crimes.
PM’s statement was evasive and useless and all that he did was to help ally and DMK chief M. Karunanidhi keep away from a daylong fast he announced Thursday to press for Indian support to the US resolution and call off Tuesday’s DMK high-level committee meet, she said.

On the other hand, Ms Jayalalithaa said, she had been consistent in her condemnation of Colombo for serious war crimes against Tamils and had written two letters to PM pressing for action against Sri Lanka.

Replying to the motion of thanks to President’s address in Lok Sabha, PM said while his government had not yet seen the final text, India was “inclined to vote in favour of a resolution that we hope will advance our objective, namely the achievement of a future for the Tamil community in Sri Lanka that is marked by equality, dignity, justice and self-respect”.

Reacting quickly, Mr Karunanidhi told the media the DMK plan for a high-level committee meeting Tuesday and fast Thursday had been dropped. “We are happy with PM’s announcement. It is a victory for our protest,” gushed the DMK chief, whose party has 18 members in Lok Sabha.
Other parties and Tamil outfits also called off announced agitations.

The Tamil glee was global. “The entire Tamil community in Sri Lanka and the Tamil Diaspora around the world are delighted at the shift in the Indian position with regard to the US resolution at UNHCR. We are grateful to the Indian PM for his announcement in Lok Sabha,” said Suren Surendiran, spokesperson for the London-based Global Tamil Forum.

PM’s comment evasive, says Jaya

Chief minister J. Jayalalithaa has dismissed as “evasive and useless,” Prime minister Manmohan Singh’s statement in Parliament on India’s stand on the US-backed resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC, while launching a tirade against her arch rival DMK president M Karunanidhi for enacting a drama on the issue.

“The Prime Minsiter’s statement that India intended to vote in favour of the US-led resolution against Sri lanka at the UNHRC, but the final draft of the resolution was awaited was an evasive reply,” the AIADMK leader, who had been insisting that the Centre support the US resolution for alleged war crimes, said.

In a statement on Monday, Ms Jayalalithaa said the Prime Minister had only talked about reconciliation process, self respect, equal rights for Lankan Tamils and devolution of power, but did not make any mention about the human rights violations.

“The PM never said the Lankan government would be condemned for the human rights violations. This is an evasive and useless reply,” she said though DMK president M Karunanidhi welcomed the statement and claimed it was a victory to his fight for Lankan Tamils.

Hitting out at the DMK leader, she said after she repeatedly wrote to the Centre, demanding India support the US-backed resolution at the UNHRC, Mr Karunanidhi to avoid blame, wrote to the Prime minister as part of his political gimmick.

Recalling the three-hour fast drama enacted by him when thousands of innocent Tamils were killed in the island nation, during the final phase of the war, she said if he had ended the fast, quoting Union minister P. Chidambaram having said Sri Lanka had declared a ceasefire, the Prime Minister has come to his rescue now and saved him from undertaking a fast on Thursday.

Ms Jayalalithaa said when the state Assembly adopted a resolution, demanding action against those who committed war crimes and wanted India to impose economic blockade against the island nation in June last year, the Centre maintained a stoic silence. Later when reports in a section of the media suggested that India was set to shield Sri Lanka at the UNHRC, she once again wrote to the Prime Minister in January and expressed her protest against India trying to bail out Sri Lanka.

When reports suggested that India would not support “country specific resolutions”, she again wrote to PM on March 6 and termed India’s move to support Lanka untenable and demanded that India support the US backed resolution, she pointed out.

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