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UN envoy to brief govt on resolution

New Delhi/chennai, Mar 18, 2013, DHNS: 2:21 IST
The Centre has called India’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations offices in Geneva, Dilip Sinha, to New Delhi for consultation ahead of the voting on the US-sponsored resolution on Sri Lanka at the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Sinha is expected to brief Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai and other top officials at the Ministry of External Affairs and Prime Minister’s Office about the progress made in the negotiations over the resolution’s text the US is planning to table before the Council this week.

Official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs Syed Akbaruddin said that the Foreign Secretary had called Permanent Representative to the UN offices in Geneva, so that he could brief the senior officials about the “ground realities and latest positions” on the negotiation over the resolution on human rights situation in Sri Lanka.

He said New Delhi would take a call on the voting only when the final resolution draft is available.

Dravida Munnethra Kazhagam, a constituent of the ruling United Progressive Alliance, stepped up pressure on the Government to take a hard-line stand on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC, in view of the alleged war crimes by the island nation’s armed forces during the 2009 military campaign against the LTTE.

The US is likely to table the draft resolution on Sri Lanka in the late hours of Monday or early Tuesday and the voting on it may take place at the UNHRC in Geneva on Thursday or Friday.

Students’ stir

The students’ agitation across Tamil Nadu over the Sri Lankan Tamils issue further escalated on Monday, as hundreds of them who sought to ‘lay siege’ to the Raj Bhavan in Chennai were arrested by police.

Elsewhere in the state, fasts by groups of students, rail-rokos and processions including one by students in the neighbouring Pondicherry to the Lt Governor’s residence, besides some pro-Tamil political outfits burning effigies of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksha, marked another eventful day, somewhat reminiscent of the DMK-inspired students’ anti-Hindi agitation in the mid-1960s.

Taking out a protest march under the aegis of ‘Students Struggle Committee for Eelam Tamils’, some 500 of them shouted outlandish slogans against the Central government and attempted to break the police cordon in front of the Raj Bhavan and sought to run into the Governor’s House to condemn “genocide against Tamils” in Sri Lanka. An ugly confrontation was averted as police took all the agitating students into custody.
Even as reports of students’ protest from different parts of the city and state began to pour in, another confrontation took place at the Chennai Central station earlier on Monday, when two Buddhist monks from Sri Lanka, part of a group of pilgrims arriving here from North India, were attacked by some goons.

The attackers fled the scene even before the police reached the spot, helped with first aid and escorted the pilgrims to the ‘Maha Bhodhi Society’ in Egmore area in the city. The three youths who attacked the monks were caught on camera by a TV news channel. The police are investigating.

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