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Mar 07, 2013 at 04:10pm IST

Parliament live: Diplomacy will do what war cannot do in Sri Lanka, says Salman Khurshid

New Delhi: 4:06 pm: BJP and DMK MPs including Yashwant Sinha stage a walk out of the Lok Sabha after Salman Khurshid refuses to commit a stance on war crimes in Sri Lanka.

4:04 pm: BJP leader Yashwant Sinha replies to Salman Khurshid and says giving tractors will not help Tamils in Sri Lanka.

4:02 pm: Uproar in the House as Salman Khurshid addresses the Sri Lanka issue. Khurshid says, "We will take the final decision keeping in mind your concern on the issue. We have taken various projects for rehabilitation in Sri Lanka."

4:01 pm: Salman Khurshid says, "If the world sees that we are divided, then no one will listen to what we say. We have to be united in what we do."

4:00 pm: Salman Khurshid says, "Please trust us, we also feel your pain and we will do what need to be done."

3:59 pm: The External Affairs Minister says, "Tamils in Sri Lanka deserve a life of dignity and equality."

3:56 pm: Salman Khurshid says, "India cannot interfere in Sri Lanka's politics, we cannot play big brother."

3:52 pm: Salman Khurshid says, "Diplomacy will do what war cannot do in Sri Lanka."

3:50 pm: Salman Khurshid says the legitimate right of Tamils in Sri Lanka must be implemented in totality.

3:45 pm: Salman Khurshid says we want peace in Sri Lanka. "We want the Tamils to live in peace and dignity and participation as equal citizen there."

3:43 pm: Salman Khurshid says, "Feelings of the House are the feelings that we share. We cannot be angry as this is a huge humanitarian problem to which we have to find a solution and help our neighbouring friends to find a solution."

3:40 pm: Minister of External Affairs Salman Khurshid addresses the House and thanks all the leaders who made speeches on the war crimes issue.

3:24 pm: TDP leader Nama Nageswara Rao joins the debate calls the war crimes issue very sensitive and asks the government to clear its stand.

3:09 pm: Dayanidhi Maran says, "In 1986 when the Indian government dropped food grain in Sri Lanka for tamils, I was proud to be an Indian. It showed my India was strong and capable of taking strong decisions. We have to assert ourselves. We are looking at you. We are looking at you!", he said.

3:00 pm: Dayanidhi Maran says we trust our Prime Minister but we need action against Sri Lanka.

2:56 pm: Former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran joins the debate and asks the government what is being done to protect Tamil fishermen who are being killed by Lankan army.

2:40 pm: Tamil parties take the floor - condemn genocide, call for justice.

2:14 pm: AITC leader Saugata Roy joins the debate and asks TR Baalu why he is staying with the government if they were so unhappy with the Centre's stance on Sri Lanka.

2:07 pm: BSP MP Chauhan joins the debate and says that it is the duty of the government to ensure that the rights of Lankan Tamils are protected.

1:59 pm: DMK leader Elangovan TKS says India should ensure equality for Lankan Tamils.

1:46 pm: Tamil Nadu Congress leader SK Alagiri joins the debate.

1:43 pm: Mulayam Singh Yadav says, "We want that the matter should be resolved through discussions after all it is our neighbour. But if that is not happening India need to take strict action. Remember, Rajiv Gandhi was once attacked by a Lankan soldier."

1:41 pm: Mulayam Singh Yadav says India has consistently stood against the violation of human rights.

1:39 pm:Mulayam Singh Yadav asks that Indian government should explain why isn't the issue been taken up.

1:34 pm: Samajwadi party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav joins the debate. Mulayam asks why India is silent and not asking questions on the war crimes.

1:32 pm: Munisamy Thambidurai says it is high time that India should take the war crimes issue with Sri Lanka and take nascent steps towards the issue as we are the greatest democracy in the world.

1:29 pm: Munisamy Thambidurai says AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa's has demanded that Sri Lankan personnel be not trained in India. "Sri Lanka is getting their army in our country only to go back and commit atrocities on Tamils," he said.

1:26 pm: Munisamy Thambidurai says Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi took efforts to protect human rights of people.

1:20 pm: AIADMK leader Munisamy Thambidurai joins the debate and says that Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa should be named a war criminal.

1:14 pm: Yashwant Sinha says that India should exercise its foreign policy with elan.

1:10 pm: Yashwant Sinha says let India convey to others nations in the neighbourhood or others at large that any interference in the Lankan issue will not be tolerated.

13:04 pm: Yashwant Sinha says the right to urge and argue with Sri Lanka does belong to India as we are neighbours.

1:01 pm: Yashwant Sinha points out that despite India promising to push for peace in Sri Lanka, did not put anything in the joint statement signed by the two countries in 2010, when Rajapaksa had visited the country. "There was no mention of the atrocities inflicted upon Sri Lankans," he says.

12:59 pm: Yashwant Sinha says India became complacent against the Sri Lankan army over the war crimes.

12:55 pm: Yashwant Sinha says that India's role in the LTTE issue cannot be ignored. "We first encouraged the LTTE when they emerged. Then we sent our Army after them to destroy them, they could not be destroyed. 2900 Indian soldiers died - no monument exists for them," Sinha says.

12:47 pm: Yashwant Sinha calls the tragedy of the Sri Lankan Tamils one of the greatest of our time.

12:44 pm: Yashwant Sinha asks what is the government's policy towards Sri Lanka with the recent chain of events. Sihna points towards the recent alleged killing of slain LTTE chief Prabahakaran's 12-year-old son by the Lankan army.

12:42 pm: Yashwant Sinha says people close to India have been mauled and the tragedy still continues in Sri Lanka even today.

12:41 pm: BJP joins the debate. Senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha says that Sri Lanka was an easy neighbour to deal with.

12:40pm: TR Baalu says the government should ensure resolution to ensure action against those responsible for the atrocities against Tamils.

12:36 pm: TR Baalu says those who are behind the cause of these human rights violations should be dealt with sternly.

12:30 pm: TR Baalu quotes religious books, says old, women and children should not be targeted during war.

Lok Sabha on Thursday discussed the alleged war crimes by the Sri Lankan army against Tamils during the battle to wipe out the LTTE. DMK leaders pointed out that the Sri Lankan army carried out atrocities and was involved in killing innocent people in the battle.

DMK MP TR Baalu alleged that slain LTTE chief V Prabhakaran's son was shot dead by the Lankan soldiers during the battle. While quoting religious books.

The Lok Sabha is debating the issue of Sri Lankan Tamils with the DMK taking the floor first. Tamil Nadu parties across the board have been attempting to up the pressure on the Centre to vote against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC vote.

DMK chief M Karunanidhi had recently demanded that India should take forward a resolution against Sri Lanka for its alleged war crimes in the United Nations Human Rights Council, saying such a move would reflect its commitment towards the Sri Lankan Tamil cause and the aspirations of the Tamils across the world.