'Too late to alter US note on Lanka'

The deadline ‘seems over’ for moving amendments to the US draft resolution against Sri Lanka at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), the DMK has said, strongly contesting the claims of senior Congress leader from Tamil Nadu and Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram, over the Centre’s intent to move such amendments.

The DMK patriarch, M Karunanidhi, looking relieved after all his party’s five ministers of the UPA Cabinet including his elder son M K Alagiri, had tendered their resignations to the prime minister in Delhi earlier in the day, told reporters here on Wednesday that there seemed to be no scope for India to move amendments.

“The deadline for giving amendments in writing to the US draft resolution seems to have come to an end.” But the effort to consult political parties in Delhi for passing a resolution against Sri Lanka in Parliament ‘is noteworthy,’ Karunanidhi said.

Reiterating that there was no change in the DMK’s stance, he said, in response to Chidambaram’s remarks in Delhi that  the DMK was driven to taking the decision to quit the Congress-led Central government on Tuesday morning, only after seeing the purported draft of the US resolution before the UNHRC.

“It (the resolution) had been already amended four times and it had been substantially diluted; there were no strong words of censure against Sri Lanka in that resolution, which indicated that there was no scope at all to incorporate amendments suggested by the DMK like including the word ‘genocide’ in the draft among others,” Karunanidhi said. This development had induced the DMK’s final pull-out decision.   

However, Chidambaram earlier on Wednesday rounded up with the observation that the letter written by  J Jayalalitha to the prime minister on March 18, urging that India should move amendments to the draft resolution before the UNHRC was before the government.

It was a tactical hint that the Congress could woo the AIADMK in the event of a floor crisis in Parliament in the run-up to passing the Finance Bill later in May, political sources here said.

Meanwhile, Jayalalitha wrote another letter to the prime minister on Wednesday, stating that 19 fishermen of Rameshwaram, taken into custody by the Sri Lankan navy, were still languishing in judicial custody in that country for the past one week.

 Urging Singh to take “pro-active steps to stop these unabated brutal attacks as well as arrests of our innocent Tamil Nadu fishermen,” she pointed out that “India cannot maintain a pusillanimous equanimity in the face of such repeated, brazen and uncivilized assaults.”

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