TN adopts resolution seeking imposition of sanctions on Lanka

The resolution moved by Chief Minister Jayalalithaa said a UN appointed committee had pointed out alleged excesses committed during the conflict between the armed forces and LTTE, including bombing civilian areas and hospitals.

Preventing humanitarian aid, committing human rights violations on internally displaced (Tamils) and suspected LTTE members were some of the excesses, Jayalalithaa said. India should press the UN to declare as "war criminals those who had committed such alleged excesses," she said.

"For the return of Tamils lodged in camps to their native places and to ensure equal rights for dignified living on par with the (majority) Sinhala, India with other countries should jointly impose economic sanctions on Sri Lankan government,"  she said.

Only this will rein in the island government and "if India and other countries impose sanctions, Sri Lanka has to listen to what we say," she said. Jayalalithaa alleged that Tamils had been struggling against being treated as 'second class citizens,' in their own country even after Sri Lanka got independence from British.

Economic sanctions were a 'temporary measure,' as that would make Sri Lanka do what 'we say' in short term, she said, adding, the demand was being made as 'we have no other go.' DMK and Congress spoke on the resolution but before Jayalalithaa gave her reply, walked out after opposition leader Vijayakanth made some remark against DMK.

Launching a scathing attack on her arch rival and DMK president M Karunanidhi, Jayalalithaa said it was his party's "selfish nature and helplessness," which did not yield any tangible benefits for the suffering Tamils.

She said she had demanded DMK's withdrawal from Congress-led UPA, since it was charged with aiding Sri Lankan armed forces by way of imparting training and expertise besides providing some equipment like radars.

She took potshots at Karunanidhi's "fast drama," demanding ceasefire in 2009 during the peak of conflict between Sri Lankan forces and LTTE, saying he embarked on it after having breakfast and ended it by around noon. "Believing his words that a ceasefire was on, people came out of their bunkers only to be killed in aerial raids," she said, charging him with 'betraying' the Sri Lankan Tamils.

Lashing out at Karunanidhi, Jayalalithaa said he took steps such as holding human chain, convening all-party or Legislature party leaders meeting or announcing resignation of his party MPs "though he kept the resignation letters with him." She recalled that a delegation of DMK-led Democratic Progressive Alliance (DPA) MPs, including Kanimozhi, had visited Lanka to review the status of Tamils "lodged behind barbed wires, but had feast with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse, accepted presents from him," and returned home.

"They said the Lankan Tamils were doing good, which was far from truth," she said.

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