India cancels Sri Lanka defence dialogue

Last Updated: Tue, Mar 19, 2013 02:49 hrs

The Indian government has called off its annual defence dialogue with Sri Lanka amid heightened outcry by Tamil political outfits calling for diplomatic action against Sri Lanka.

No reason was given for the cancellation of the three-day Secretary-level talks which were scheduled to begin from March 23 in New Delhi, media reports said.

The decision comes amid a threat by Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) to pull out of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) coalition at the Centre if the government did not heed its demands against Sri Lanka.

In the sternest of warnings yet, the biggest ally of the Congress at the Centre demanded that the Indian government bring in certain amendments in a U.S.-sponsored resolution against Colombo at the upcoming session of the UN Human Rights Council later this month.

The DMK, which has 18 members in the parliament, is critical to the Congress to sustain the ruling coalition, which has already seen the pullout of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (TMC).

The issue of Sri Lankan war crimes was re-ignited recently after photos of the alleged cold-blooded killing of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) chief Velupillai Prabhakaran's 12-year-old son came to light.

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