New Delhi: The DMK and the AIADMK have stepped up pressure on the Centre over war crimes in Sri Lanka. After DMK chief Karunanidhi, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, too, has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, demanding that the government takes a strong and courageous stand against Sri Lanka at the UN and move amendments to the US-backed resolution. "Don't just support the US-backed resolution on Lankan Tamils issue at UNHRC, but strengthen it through suitable amendments," Jayalalithaa wrote.
Meanwhile, the UPA is reaching out to DMK, which has threatened to pull out of the alliance, over India's vote at the UN Human Rights Council. UPA ministers P Chidambaram, AK Antony and Ghulam Nabi Azad are flying to Chennai to meet Karunanidhi on Monday evening to sort out issues. Karunanidhi had written another letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, asking the government to push for an international probe into war crimes in Sri Lanka.
The DMK chief insisted that the government should bring in amendments to declare that "genocide and war crimes had been committed and inflicted on Eelam Tamils by Sri Lankan Army and the Administrators" and seek a credible and independent international commission to probe human rights violations. "I am writing this letter with immense mental agony and feeling of having been let down by the Government of India," he said and hoped the Centre would take immediate steps to assuage the feelings of entire Tamil community by getting the amendments incorporated in the resolution.
Karunanidhi said he was constrained to write to them in view of the "volatile situation" prevailing in the state. He said there was a feeling of "injustice" among the Tamils in the context of the "lukewarm response of the Government of India to the entreaties made by the various sections of Tamil community in general and students community in particular across the state."
External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid has maintained that the final decision will be taken after consulting allies. The draft resolution by the US circulated in Geneva could complicate New Delhi's efforts to honour the sentiments of Tamil MPs while protecting ties with Colombo.
Earlier on Sunday, the police lathicharged members of a pro-Sri Lankan Tamil group which tried to barge into the camp office of Minister of State in PMO V Narayanasamy, demanding that the Centre take steps to protect Tamils in the island nation. Volunteers of the local unit of Tamizhaga Vazhvurimai Katchi tried to barge into the office to push forward their demands, including steps to stop attacks on fishermen allegedly by the Sri Lankan Navy and raised slogans, following which police rushed to the spot and lathicharged them.
(With additional information from PTI)