Chennai:The Tamil Nadu Assembly on Wednesday passed an unanimous resolution seeking imposition of economic sanctions against Sri Lankaby the Government of India for alleged war crimes against indigeous tamil population in that island country and other human rights violations there.
The resolution moved by chief minister J Jayalalithaa also wanted India to press the United Nations to declare as “war criminals” those who committed alleged crimes during the conflict in Sri Lanka.
Replying to the debate after moving the resolution, she said the UN panel in its report had charged the Sri Lankan Government
and its President Mahinda Rajapakse with indulging in war crimes and suggested a comprehensive investigation by the Lankan Government.
She said there were also allegations about Sri Lanka preventing humanitarian aid from reaching the suffering Tamils and violations of their human rights. The chief minister said Tamils had been reportedly treated as “second class citizens in their own country” even after Sri Lanka got independence from the British.
Jayalalithaa said only economic sanctions would “rein in” Sri Lanka, which she said, “did not heed the global opinion when it came to the Tamils issue”. “If the Indian Government and other countries impose such sanctions, the Sri Lankan Government will be forced to hear our views in a shorter span of time,” she said.
Alleging that the previous government had failed to do anything for the welfare of Sri Lankan Tamils, she ridiculed DMK president M Karunanidhi for organising a fast as Chief Minister to demand a ceasefire “after having breakfast” and calling it off later in the day. She alleged that he had betrayed the Tamils by announcing that a ceasefire had been declared which made scores of people come out from the bunkers only to be killed in aerial bombings.
Pointing out that it was she who had demanded that the then DMK government put pressure on the Central government to bring a ceasefire in Lanka failing which it should withdraw its support to the UPA Government, Jayalalithaa said instead of doing that Karunanidhi had staged several dramas like organising all party meeting, meeting of leaders of Legislature parties, passing resolution in the state assembly and organising a human chain agitation, which were all temporary measures.Jayalalithaa also took potshots at DMK president Karunanidhi for sending telegrams to the Prime Minister, announcing resignation of MPs, getting their resignation letters and then issuing a final warning.
Meanwhile, Jayalalithaa has sought the intervention of the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh in ensuring the release of four fishermen of Rameswaram who are in the custody of the Sri Lankan Police.
In a letter to Dr Singh, a copy of which was released to the media here, Jayalalithaa said when the fishermen were out at sea on June 2, 2011, sudden inclement weather and heavy winds resulted in the destruction of their boat. The four fishermen swam for
about eight hours and landed on the coast of Nainateevu of Sri Lanka and surrendered before the army check post there.