DMK not toning down stand on Sri Lanka

Chennai, March 19 (IANS) The DMK is not bringing down its pressure on the central government by raising a demand for a resolution in parliament declaring that there was genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka, a party leader said Tuesday.

“Our demand is that the Indian government should declare that there was genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka and war crimes were committed against them,” DMK’s spokesperson T.K.S. Elangovan told IANS.
Questioned about the logic for demanding the resolution now after the party threatened to pull out its ministers from the government and also from the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) he said: “Post-war, the Sri Lankan government has given some assurances to Indian government. The US resolution in the UN came only after that. We always wanted the Indian government to intervene and solve the issue.”
Agreeing that the Sri Lankan Tamil problem will be a major issue in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Elangovan said the party will not be in a disadvantageous position because of that.
“It is only the DMK that has been raising the issue of Sri Lankan Tamil’s welfare. All other parties in Tamil Nadu are keeping silent as they do not want to antagonise the ruling party in the state,” Elangovan added.
He said the protests in Tamil Nadu against the Sri Lankan government has become people’s protests and there is no anti-DMK sentiments there.
“There will be attempts to infuse anti-DMK sentiments in those protests,” he remarked.
On Monday a crucial meeting between DMK chief M. Karunanidhi and three union ministers on the stand to be taken by India over the US-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka ended with no major decision being taken.
Karunanidhi demanded that parliament pass a resolution declaring that there was genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka.
Defence Minister A.K. Antony, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram and Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad met Karunanidhi at his residence.
The meeting was held in the wake of Karunanidhi Sunday threatening that the DMK would withdraw support to the UPA government if it did not take steps to bring amendments to the resolution against Sri Lanka in the United Nations Human Rights Centre (UNHRC).
On Sunday Karunanidhi said: “If our requests are not heeded, our relationship with this alliance will not continue.”
Speaking to reporters after meeting the three union ministers Karunanidhi said that he had told the three ministers that “the attack on Lankan Tamils by Sri Lanka should be declared as genocide”.
He said there should be a probe into the war crimes in Sri Lanka by a credible independent international body.
Karunanidhi said a resolution containing the above should be passed in parliament.
After the meeting, Azad said a decision would be announced after discussing the deliberations of the meeting with Karunanidhi with the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and consulting UPA chairperson and Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
The meeting discussed the issues raised by Karunanidhi in his letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi wherein the DMK leader wanted that the UNHRC “declares that genocide and war crimes had been committed and inflicted on Eelam Tamils by the Sri Lankan Army and the administrators”.
The DMK has five members in the prime minister’s council of ministers.
Sri Lanka is under attack over the death of a large number of Tamil civilians during the final stages of the war that crushed the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in 2009.