TN parties stage walkout

Parliament on Tuesday witnessed an uproar over the Sri Lankan Tamils issue, with the UPA’s key ally, the DMK, as well as the opposition, the AIADMK, pressing the government to clarify its stand on the US-sponsored resolution against the island nation at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

Soon after the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha assembled, the DMK and AIADMK members trooped into the well. The Viduthalai Chiruthaikal Katchi and CPI members followed suit. The MPs refused to relent, prompting frequent adjournments of both Houses. The Rajya Sabha was later adjourned for the day.

“The entire state is burning. We are not bothered about the resolution at the UNHRC. My question to the government is that what are you looking for or what are you waiting for? What happened to the assurances given to India by Sri Lanka? Why is the Indian government allowing human rights violation in the Island?” asked T K S Elangovan of the DMK.

He stressed that it was the “moral duty” of the India to either ensure that the assurances given by Colombo were fulfilled, or pressure the neighbouring country to honour its words. “Why is India a silent spectator?” he said.

 Echoing similar sentiments, M Thambidurai of the AIADMK sought to know what measures the government would undertake to ensure a strong US-sponsored resolution. “If the government is not giving any amendment to the resolution, there is no point,” he said.

With the DMK out of the UPA coalition, the BJP insisted the government to clarify before the House whether the DMK had actually withdrawn support. Trinamool Congress member Kalyan Banerjee asked the DMK members if they were still a part of the UPA. “I am speaking on behalf of the DMK,” Elangovan replied. BJP leader Yashwant Sinha appealed the DMK not to “run with the hare and hunt with the hounds.”

In an effort to pacify the DMK members, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said the government viewed with “serious concern the happenings in Sri Lanka.” “There is no last day for India. The country can always take a position till the date of the voting. We are discussing among ourselves,” Nath clarified. 

His efforts to placate the DMK and AIADMK members went in vain, as they staged a walk out to register their dissatisfaction with the government’s response.

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