BY TN Gopalan
India is urged to mobilise international support for a war crimes tribunal
Political parties in Tamil Nadu are seeking to mount pressure on the federal government on the issue of the alleged war crimes committed by Sri Lanka in the closing stages of the war against separatist Tamil Tiger rebels.
The parties in the southern Indian state want India to mobilise international opinion for setting up a tribunal to prosecute those responsible for thousands of civilian deaths then.
The state unit of the CPM is the latest to announce demonstrations all over the state shortly to press its demand for a war crimes tribunal.
Ever since a UN panel highlighted “credible allegations” that both the Sri Lankan army and Tamil Tiger rebels had been involved in violations that could amount to war crimes or crimes against humanity, there has been increasing calls for a tribunal to try President Mahinda Rajapkasa and others at the helm.
Most parties including the ruling DMK and the major opposition, the AIADMK, have already given such calls or staged demonstrations.
Effigies of President Rajapaksa are routinely burned or hanged.
Only the Congress, heading India’s ruling coalition, and also a key player in the state, is maintaining a silence on the issue.
India’s Foreign Affairs ministry has only said that it is “willing to engage Sri Lanka” on the contents of the report.
The Tamil Nadu parties seem concerned that India should not seek to bail out Sri Lanka yet again in the name of checkmating Chinese and Pakistani influence on the island government.
But how far they would go in pressing their demands is a moot point, observers say.
BBC Tamil service,