PM assures DMK of justice for Lanka Tamils

PM assures DMK of justice for Lanka Tamils

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has urged the DMK, an UPA ally at the Centre, not to rock the boat over a resolution against Sri Lanka at the ongoing United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) meeting in Geneva on Rajapakshe regime’s “war crimes” in the last days of the “Eelam War” in May 2009. 

In a detailed two-page letter to DMK chief M Karunanidhi, Singh has not only put India-Sri Lanka relations in perspective but also tried to assuage Tamil feelings in the backdrop of Britain’s “Channel 4 video” clips on the “gruesome war crimes.” The clips have quadrupled demands for an “International Independent Enquiry” into “war crimes” against LTTE leaders and Tamils.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalitha has already written to the prime minister, urging India to support the resolution against Sri Lanka. Karunanidhi, MDMK chief Vaiko, CPI leader D Raja and other leaders have also pitching for the same line of action on the issue.

Singh has replied to both Karunanidhi and Jayalalitha on the tricky issue. India’s general position on such issues is that on international forum it does not back country-specific resolutions. Deccan Herald obtained a copy of the prime minister’s letter to the DMK chief.

In his dispassionate letter, Singh said India had always attached “high priority” to the safety, prosperity and well-being of the Tamils in Sri Lanka. Since the end of the conflict in Sri Lanka in 2009, India has been consistently drawing its attention on the need for a “political settlement” of the Tamil issue.

The prime minister explained to Karunanidhi that India’s engagement with the Sri Lankan government had not been just confined to resettlement and rehabilitation of the internally displaced Tamils in their respective habitats. But, India also pressed for “early withdrawal of emergency regulations and investigations into allegations of human rights violations.”

Singh further noted India had offered “technical, economic and financial assistance to aid this process.”

“I would like to underline that it is as a result of our engagement with the Government of Sri Lanka and our considerable assistance programme that a modicum of normalcy is beginning to return to the Tamil areas in Sri Lanka,” he said. There has also been progress in the withdrawal of emergency regulations there.

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