India must move UN to bring Rajapaksa to trial: Jayalalithaa

In a statement here, Jayalalithaa said: "With the UN report practically confirming human rights violations and brutal repression that was earlier in the realm of speculation or dismissed as biased or partisan reportage, the Indian government should now move the UN to initiate necessary steps to bring Rajapaksa to stand trial for war crimes and genocide along with his generals, senior ministers and all others who were party to the brutal excesses."

She said the UN report "makes mincemeat of the Sri Lankan government's claim that it had conducted a 'humanitarian rescue operation' with a 'zero civilian casualties policy'." She said the three-member Expert Panel found credible evidence of the Sri Lankan war machine having shelled hospitals and 'No Fire Zones' where fleeing Tamil civilians were encouraged to gather.

"While Sri Lanka officially proclaimed that it would not use heavy weapons and explosives, the panel concluded that the forces systematically bombed places of civilian concentration, causing deaths of thousands of Tamils."

According to Jayalalithaa, India can no longer remain a silent spectator as the Tamils of Sri Lanka share a relationship with the people of Tamil Nadu.

She said: "India should spearhead an international movement to put pressure on Sri Lanka to ensure that all people in that country are treated equally and are allowed to live a life of dignity.

"If necessary, an economic blockade will have to be resorted to, to bring a recalcitrant Sri Lanka to heel."

"The panel focused at length on the period from September 2008 to May 2009, widely regarded as the most intense phase of the war between the Sri Lankan armed forces and the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam)," the AIADMK general secretary said.

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