Oppn against resolution in Parliament on Lanka

Oppn against resolution in Parliament on Lanka

The Congress-led UPA government on Wednesday could not make any headway in its bid to evolve a consensus over a draft resolution proposed to be adopted by Parliament to condemn alleged atrocities on Tamils in Sri Lanka, as the BJP and other parties argued against such a move to single out a particular country.

An all-party meet convened by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath ended without any consensus, as the BJP, Janata Dal (U) and Samajwadi Party argued against the proposal to get such a country-specific resolution passed by Parliament. 
The government’s draft of the resolution does not accuse the Sri Lankan government of committing “genocide”. It does not call for an “international probe” into allegations of war-crimes committed by Sri Lankan armed forces, but just asks Colombo to carry out a credible and independent investigation.

During the meeting, the SP, an ally of the UPA, argued that Parliament should not pass a resolution against a friendly country like Sri Lanka.

“We are with the Tamils of Sri Lanka, but we do not see any need for resolution by Parliament. We must not forget Sri Lanka stood by India during the 1962 war with China,” SP leader Rewati Raman Singh said after attending the all-party meet. He also reminded that Parliament had recently rejected Pakistan National Assembly’s resolution condemning the execution of the 2001 Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.

“How can we do the same to a friendly neighbour like Sri Lanka?” he wondered.
Sharad Yadav of the JD(U) too is understood to have questioned the logic of bringing such a resolution against a sovereign nation. He reportedly said during the all-party meeting that New Delhi should not antagonise Colombo if it wanted to help the Tamils in Colombo.

Dravida Munnethra Kazhagam chief M Karunanidhi had on Monday told Defence Minister A K Antony, Finance Minister P Chidambaram and Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad in Chennai that his party wanted the government to take steps to bring a resolution in Parliament on alleged war crimes committed by Sri Lankan armed forces personnel during the 2009 military crackdown on Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. 

Though the DMK severed its ties with the Congress and quit the ruling alliance, the government continued to reach out to political parties to evolve a consensus on the resolution proposed to be passed by Parliament.

Only the DMK and AIADMK insisted on getting a resolution passed by Parliament. Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha and BJP heavyweight, Sushma Swaraj, is understood to have asked Nath why the government had called all the parties on an issue that was within the Congress and its ally DMK.

“We will continue to consult political parties on bringing a resolution to be adopted by Parliament,” Chidambaram told journalists earlier on Wednesday.

The DMK on Tuesday accused the government of working with the US to dilute a resolution against Sri Lanka at the United Nations Human Rights Council. The regional party also announced its decision to quit the UPA, but added that if Parliament adopted a resolution before the end of the first half of the Budget Session, it would reconsider its decision.

The first half of the Budget Session of Parliament will conclude on Friday. 
Chidambaram and Nath said that the government’s move to bring the resolution in Parliament was not intended to bring the DMK back to the UPA.

The finance minister said that the resolution was being contemplated in keeping with the sentiments of Tamils. “Every political party represents people. There are Tamils in the state of Tamil Nadu as also outside. There is also Tamil Diaspora. The Congress, from the time of Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, has always stood for the rights of Tamils,” Chidambaram told journalists in a news-conference.

He responded a few questions in Tamil apparently making an attempt to reach out to the people of Tamil Nadu.

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