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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Will work on Lanka, won’t back UN vote: Govt to DMK, ADMK

Even as Tamil Nadu arch-rivals DMK and AIADMK joined hands to disrupt Parliament on Tuesday, demanding that New Delhi vote in support of a resolution against Sri Lanka at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), Prime Minister Manmohan Singh wrote to the leaders of the two parties clearly indicating that such a course was unlikely.

Instead, the government would continue to “engage” the Sri Lankan government to ensure that allegations of rights abuses against Tamils are investigated and normalcy restored in its Tamil-populated areas, the PM said.

“With regard to the resolution in the UNHRC, we are engaged with all parties in an effort to achieve an outcome that is forward-looking and that ensures that rather than deepening confrontation and mistrust between the concerned parties, a way forward is found,” Singh said. He also claimed that the “modicum of normalcy” that was returning in Tamil majority areas in Sri Lanka was the result of India’s engagement with Colombo.

The DMK and AIADMK, however, demanded nothing less than India’s total support to the resolution, not letting the Rajya Sabha function at all. The CPI’s D Raja and BJP’s M Venkaiah Naidu supported them.

The government assurance that External Affairs Minister S M Krishna would make a statement on Thursday did not help.

While the matter was also raised in the Lok Sabha, the government made it clear there that it would not be able to accommodate the demands. “(India does) not support any country-specific resolution (at UNHRC),” Pranab Mukherjee said.


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