Tamil Nadu Assembly today adopted a unanimous resolution seeking imposition of economic sanctions against Sri Lanka by India on issues concerning Tamils in the island nation, including alleged human rights violations.
The resolution moved by Chief Minister 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.
Ms. 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 India and other countries impose sanctions, Sri Lanka has to listen to what we say”, she said replying to the debate on the resolution.
She said there were allegations about Sri Lanka committing human rights violations and preventing humanitarian aids from reaching the suffering Tamils, the issues which prompted her to move the resolution.
The Chief Minister said Tamils had been struggling against being treated as “second class citizens in their own country” even after Sri Lanka got independence from the British.
She, however, said terrorism had crept in the name of Tamil Eelam which had even resulted in fratricide.
She recalled that after the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi in 1991 on Tamil soil, the sympathy here towards LTTE had turned into an anger against them.
Ms. Jayalalithaa said it was on her insistence that the Centre had first banned LTTE in India in 1992.
She also recalled that it was her government in 2002 which passed a resolution in the assembly demanding the arrest and extradition of slain LTTE leader V Prabhakaran in connection with Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination.
Taking a dig at her party’s main rival the DMK, she said that it failed to do anything for the welfare of Sri Lankan Tamils and took potshots at party president M Karunanidhi for organising a fast as Chief Minister demanding 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 was on which made scores of people to come out from the bunkers but they were killed in aerial bombings.
Ms. Jayalalithaa said she did not intend to level charges against DMK but insisted that it was “selfish nature and helplessness of the previous DMK regime” which resulted in the death of Tamils.