Uproar in Parliament on Lanka ‘war crimes’ against Tamils

Parties want India to support UN resolution condemning rights violation against Tamils.

Written by Agencies | New Delhi | Published: March 13, 2012 12:20:51 pm

Several disruptions later,Rajya Sabha was adjourned for the day today after the DMK and the AIADMK — with ample support from the Left — demanded to know the government’s stand on a resolution against Sri Lanka in the UN Human Rights Commission.

As soon as the House met for the day,DMK members were on their feet displaying banners demanding the government support a resolution moved by US,France and Norway in the UNHRC against the alleged atrocities or ‘war crimes’ committed on Sri Lankan Tamils during the island nation’s civil war.

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DMK was joined by members of its rival AIADMK and Left parties in seeking a response from the government on the stand India would take on the resolution.

Chairman Hamid Ansari initially disallowed them saying Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley had made a request for a statement and was given permission to speak.

“No banners please… your turn will come,” he said. Jaitley,however,said he was willing to make his submission after the issue of Sri Lankan Tamils was raised.

Ansari then allowed the members to raise the issue.

T Siva (DMK) said it was the moral responsibility of India to support the resolution in UNHRC condemning excesses during the civil war that ”killed thousands of innocent people”.

V Maitreyan (AIADMK) said the Tamil Nadu Assembly had passed a unanimous resolution asking the Centre to take up with the United Nations the war crimes committed by Sri Lanka.

Stating India knew about the crimes and human rights violations in Sri Lanka,D Raja (CPI) said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should respond immediately.

T K Rangarajan (CPM) said a credible inquiry committee should be formed to look into atrocities committed against Sri Lankan Tamils.

B S Gnanadesikan (Cong) said while India should support the resolution,it “must maintain relationship” with the Sri Lankan government so that assistance to 30 lakh Tamils in the island nation could continue.

The UPA government,he said,provides 50,000 houses and medical and other aid to the Sri Lankan Tamils. “If doors are shut,who will help?” he said,suggesting that diplomatic options should be left to the Prime Minister to choose.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister P K Bansal said he would get in touch with External Affairs Minister S M Krishna immediately and government will thereafter come with a statement.

Bansal said,”We do not know what is in the resolution before the Council.”

This,however,did not satisfy the members who wanted an assurance that the statement would be made today itself.

As Ansari called Jaitley to make his submission,DMK and AIADMK members moved into aisles seeking a response from the Prime Minister,who was present in the House.

Bansal’s remark that the statement would be made as soon as possible,did not pacify the members who moved into the well of the House.

As his repeated requests for order went unheeded,Ansari adjourned the House till noon.

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