Jaya unhappy with PM’s stand on Sri Lankan Tamil issue
PTI CHENNAI AS the Sri Lankan Tamils issue rocked Parliament for the second day, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu J Jayalalithaa on Wednesday expressed dissatisfaction over Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s “non-committal” response on India’s stand on the US-backed resolution against Colombo at the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) and insisted that New Delhi support it.
“There was no commitment from the Prime Minister.
AIADMK (her ruling party in the state) is not satisfied with the response,” she told reporters acknowledging that she had received a letter from Singh in response to her two communications on the issue.
Jayalalithaa said she had received the response after she wrote two letters to Singh demanding that India back the US resolution against Sri Lanka for its alleged war crimes (during the last phase of the civil war in 2009).
“We will continue to press our demand that India should support the resolution against Sri Lanka,” she said as political parties from Tamil Nadu kept up the pressure on the Centre on the issue.
The contents of Singh’s reply to Jayalalithaa were not known but he had in another letter to chief of DMK, ally of his Congress-led ruling coalition UPA, M Karunanidhi, who had also raised the issue, made clear that India attached “high priority” to the safety, prosperity and well-being of the Tamil community in Sri Lanka.
Addressing a campaign rally for the March 18 assembly byelection in Sankarankoil in Tirunelveli district, Jayalalithaa hit out at UPA questioning its commitment towards Tamils.
“Soon after AIADMK came to power, we passed a resolution in the Assembly demanding that the central government take steps to declare as war criminals those who were involved in the genocide (of Tamils) in Sri Lanka and impose economic sanctions on that country,” she told the rally.
However, the Centre did not take any action.
Instead, reports suggest that India would oppose the USsponsored resolution against Sri Lanka. “This is the concern of Congress towards Tamils,” she said taking a dig at the party.
Her remarks came on a day when the anti-Sri Lanka resolution issue continued to rock Parliament with her party members walking out from Rajya Sabha (the upper house of the Parliament) after tearing a copy of the statement made by External Affairs Minister S MKrishna in the House.
Meanwhile, with all Tamil Nadu parties asking the government to back a US-sponsored resolution on “war crimes” in Sri Lanka, Central government on Wednesday said it will study popular sentiments and stressed the need for “a forward looking outcome” and to avoid meddling in Colombo’s affairs. “I would like to highlight that on such sensitive issues we will need to consider the implications of our actions carefully. Any assertions on our part may have implications on our historically friendly relations with a neighbouring country,” Krishna said in the Rajya Sabha.
“We would also need to examine whether our actions will actually assist in the process of reconciliation in Sri Lanka, and enhance the current dialogue between the government of Sri Lanka and Tamil parties, including the Tamil National Alliance,” he said in a statement.
Commenting on the draft resolution on Sri Lanka in the UN Human Rights Council, Krishna said: “We are engaged with all parties in an effort to achieve a forward looking outcome that is based on reconciliation and accountability rather than deepening confrontation and mistrust between the concerned parties.” In a letter to Jayalalithaa and DMK chief M Karunanidhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed a similar opinion.
But Jayalalithaa said she was unhappy with Manmohan Singh’s views.
Responding to queries, Krishna said India was closely monitoring the developments and will take a view after studying the sentiments expressed in the house. “We will keep the parliament informed,” he told the Lok Sabha.