Chennai: Pro-Tamil outfits in the state are stepping up pressure on Congress to take steps to ensure India moves a separate resolution in UNHRC for an independent international probe into alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka.
The Tamil Nadu Congress Committee has responded by saying it will do ‘whatever is necessary’ to protect Tamils’ interests there.
UNHRC Commissioner Navi Pillay had called for setting up an international inquiry mechanism to probe charges of rights abuses and accountability for international humanitarian law violations.
The UN rights chief’s report was a preamble to the US- moved resolution, to be voted at the end of the month. The draft resolution backed Pillay’s call to set up an international war crimes inquiry.
“Whatever is needed…whatever is in the interests of Tamils in Sri Lanka…it will be done by us (Tamil Nadu Congress) and the Centre,” TNCC President B S Gnanadesikan told PTI.
He alleged that it was a politically motivated campaign and nothing more and recalling his party’s efforts in persuading the Union government to vote against Sri Lanka in earlier occasions at the UN body.
DMK backed Tamil Eelam Supporters Organisation (TESO) had recently adopted a resolution, demanding that the Centre move a separate resolution on the issue, in the backdrop of reports suggesting the existing US sponsored draft resolution to be
tabled at UNHRC is a watered down version.
Vaiko-led MDMK, part of the BJP-led alliance, is known for its strident position on the Lankan issue.
Dravidar Kazhagam president K Veeramani said Congress should try to ‘save itself’ by proposing a strong resolution in the UN body.
“Better late than never..they should do this…it will help save themselves to some extent,” he said indicating it would otherwise be routed in the Lok Sabha polls.
Congress is also under pressure in Tamil Nadu to woo the electorate, particularly in the run up to the Apr 24 LS polls, as the party is likely to go it alone since none of the major players have stitched an alliance with it.
The Tamil outfits have seized on the fragile position of the Congress to ‘espouse’ the cause of the Tamils in the island nation.
The ruling AIADMK and opposition DMK too have pitched for India moving a separate resolution in UNHRC for an independent international probe into alleged war crimes.
Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had stated on March 3 that steps would be taken to propose a resolution by India in UNHRC to punish those guilty of genocide and war crimes in Sri Lanka if an AIADMK inclusive government is elected at the Centre.
This will be the third UNHRC resolution on Sri Lanka. Both previous resolutions were adopted with India’s support.
Sri Lanka has steadfastly dismissed calls for international investigation, citing its own ‘lessons learnt’ and ‘Reconciliation Commission recommendations’.
The country has faced accusations of an estimated 40,000 civilian killings during the final phase of the war against the LTTE in 2009.