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Mar-13-2012 19:33printcomments

Sri Lankan Tamil Issue Rocks India's Parliament

The Upper House was adjourned till tomorrow as members continued to raise slogans every time the House met to transact business.

India and Sri Lanka flag
India and Sri Lanka maintain a tedious relationship over the deadly culmination of Sri Lanka's civil war.

(NEW DELHI Express Buzz) - Government today sought to mollify agitated DMK and AIADMK members who demanded India's support to a resolution at UNHCHR against Sri Lanka for alleged war crimes saying no date has been fixed yet for discussing the matter.

"Our traditional stand has been that we have never supported any country-specific resolution at the UNHCHR," Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee told the Lok Sabha as DMK, AIADMK and CPI members rushed to the Well raising slogans on the issue.

Mukherjee, who is the Leader of the Lok Sabha, told the House that no date has been fixed as yet for discussing the resolution against Sri Lanka moved by France, Norway and the US at Geneva-based UNHCHR and the stand can be decided in due course.

He told the members that the government has already explained the matter in detail to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa and DMK chief M Karunanidhi.

"The Prime Minister has written two letters to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and Karunanidhi...If members want further clarification, I will request the External Affairs Minister to make a brief statement," Mukherjee said.

Earlier, as soon as the Lok Sabha convened for the day, DMK member T R Baalu demanded that the government support the US-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka at UNHCHR, Geneva.

Baalu was supported by his party colleagues and members belonging to AIADMK and CPI on the issue of alleged war crimes committed by the Sri Lankan government during its fight against the LTTE. Former Union Minister Dayanidhi Maran was also seen in the aisle waving placards.

The Rajya Sabha witnessed three adjournments with DMK, AIADMK and the Left raising the issue vociferously.

In the Rajya Sabha, Parliamentary Affairs Minister P K Bansal's assurance that External Affairs Minister S M Krishna will make a statement by evening failed to cut any ice with the agitating members.

"India's meticulous adherence and respect for human rights is respected the world over. I have got the views of members expressed here and would not like to comment accepting that at this time we do not know what is the resolution before the council," Bansal said.

The Upper House was adjourned till tomorrow as members continued to raise slogans every time the House met to transact business.

Chairman Hamid Ansari allowed the members to put forth their views briefly before he could take up Question Hour.

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

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

Maintaining that India knows about war crimes and human rights violation in Sri Lanka, D Raja (CPI) said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should respond.

T K Rangarajan (CPI-M) said a credible inquiry committee should be formed to look into the issue.

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

As Ansari called Leader of the Opposition Arun 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, and raised slogans. Ansari then adjourned the House till noon. Amid similar scenes, the House was adjourned two more times and then finally for the day.

Special thanks to Express Buzz


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