Oppn, DMK walk out of LS over Lanka

Oppn, DMK walk out of LS over Lanka

Khurshid vows govt will take best possible decision

UPA’s key ally DMK and the Opposition walked out of the Lok Sabha in protest as the government remained non-committal on its stand to be adopted on the resolution against Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council.

Replying to a debate initiated by DMK leader T R Baalu on the “plight of Tamils in Sri Lanka”, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid sought to assure the members that government would take “best possible” decision keeping the suggestions made by them in mind when the resolution comes at the UN Human Rights Council.

“We will take into account what all the members have said. We will study this in terms of what developments on the ground have taken place and information that we collect which is authentic and reliable. We will put all that together and we will look at what Sri Lanka has to say. We will see what other countries have to say and then putting them together, we will come to a decision as to what the best possible decision to take is,” he said.

As the members including Baalu asked Khurshid to state in clear terms what action India will exactly take on the resolution against Sri Lanka, the minister said, “We cannot take a final decision here. Once we take that decision, we will share that with you.”

“But how we do it and what we do, this freedom must be left to the government to be able to translate your wishes and desires in a proper manner diplomatically, so that we achieve what we want to achieve,” he added. The minister said the government can persuade Sri Lanka to achieve a “durable and sustainable” political solution only through diplomacy.

“We can do persuasion, we can nudge them, we can help them and we can find every other way in which they will believe that this is something that they need to do to be a part of the comity of nations. This is what diplomacy is about. We don't play the policeman of the world or the big brother in any country,” he said.

India would press for an "independent and acceptable inquiry into human rights violations so that there is closure to the 27 year old problem," he added. Dissatisfied with the minister’s response, DMK members led by Baalu walked out of the Lok Sabha even as Khurshid was yet to complete his reply to the debate. AIDMK members too joined the DMK in staging a walkout.

Senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha asked the minister to tell the members clearly about the government’s plan to protect the rights of Sri Lankan Tamils and their dignity. Khurshid, however, continued highlighting the steps that the UPA government had taken so far for the welfare of Tamils in the neighbouring country.

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