Jaya writes to PM on Lanka war crimes

Last Updated: Mon, Mar 18, 2013 07:21 hrs

New Delhi: While its ally DMK threatened to pull out of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) over the Sri Lanka issue and student protests roil Tamil Nadu on Monday, the state's ruling party AIADMK supremo and chief minister Jayalalithaa wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to act against Lanka at the UNHRC.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in her letter to the PM said, "India should move amendments to strengthen US resolution on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC." She wrote that India must "take a historic, strong, and courageous stand on the issue."

In Chennai on Monday, a large number of students were arrested when they tried to lay siege on the Raj Bhavan during an anti-Lanka protest.

The students demanded India to move a resolution against Sri Lanka at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for war crimes against the ethnic Tamils in Lanka.

Earlier, the Congress party on Sunday sought to appease ally Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) as the south Indian outfit threatened pull out from India's ruling coalition if its calls of action against Sri Lanka went unheeded.

DMK chief M Karunanidhi on Sunday threatened to snap ties with the Congress-led UPA if the Centre did not amend the resolution to incorporate the demand for international probe and time-bound action against those who may be found guilty of war crimes in Sri Lanka.

"If our demands are not met, it is doubtful whether our ties with the alliance (UPA) will continue...It won't continue is sure," Karunanidhi told reporters.

The statement came after he sent a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, saying he felt "let down" by the government on the issue.

Karunanidhi's threat was graver than his warning two days ago to pull out his ministers from the union cabinet if the government failed to meet his party's demands.

It came in spite of Finance Minister P Chidambaram hinting at a possible vote against Sri Lanka on Saturday.

"I am confident that if phrases in the UN resolution sought credible independent international probe, India would support it," Chidambaram had said.

The government, which has not taken a clear stance over the Lankan Tamils issue, on Saturday attempted to placate the DMK with Union Minister V Narayanasamy saying the Prime Minister would "definitely consider all aspects" before taking a decision on the resolution.

On Sunday, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said a decision by the government on voting on the UN resolution on Sri Lanka will be taken after consulting all UPA partners.

"They (DMK) are our allies, and whatever decision we take will be done after discussions with them," said Khurshid to a query by reporters in Lucknow.

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.

Human rights bodies also came up with tales of brutality in custody the Lankan regime on Tamils.

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