Tamil Nadu calls for sanctions against Sri Lanka

June 8th, 2011 - 7:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, June 8 (IANS) The Tamil Nadu assembly Wednesday unanimously passed a resolution urging the Indian government to impose economic sanctions on Sri Lanka and approach the United Nations to declare those responsible for the “genocide” in the island country as war criminals.

The resolution said India and other countries should impose sanctions to force the Sri Lankan government to rehabilitate the internally displaced people urgently.

Moving the resolution, Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa said Tamils in Sri Lanka were being treated as second grade citizens.

She said that instead of providing a political settlement, the Sri Lankan government killed innocent people by bombing residential areas and hospitals.

Jayalalithaa said India, along with other nations, should impose economic sanctions so that the Tamils living in rehabilitation camps can go back to their homes and live with the same political rights being enjoyed by the Sinhalese.

In her reply to the debate on the resolution, Jayalalithaa said that protesting against the discrimination, the Sri Lankan Tamils have been demanding “self rule”, or a separate Tamil Eelam, since the 1980s.

She said that killing of Tamils in Sri Lanka reached its zenith with the assassination of former Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in 1991 in Tamil Nadu.

She said it was on her insistence that the Indian government had banned LTTE in 1992 and it was her government in 2002 that passed a resolution urging the central government to demand extradition of LTTE leader V. Prabhakaran to face trial in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.

Jayalalithaa said the situation in Sri Lanka changed with Mahinda Rajapakse becoming the president in 2005.

Citing news reports about the Indian Army training around 100 Sri Lankan Army personnel in Haryana and India supplying sophisticated arms to the country, Jayalalithaa said the Sri Lankan government started attacking Tamils in 2008-end and the beginning of 2009.

She accused the DMK of betraying the interests of Sri Lankan Tamils by staging several dramas instead of exerting pressure on the central government to ensure ceasefire in the island by threatening to withdraw its support.

The DMK members, while extending their support to the resolution, objected to the comments by Leader of Opposition and DMDK founder A. Vijayakanth.

Senior DMK leader Duraimurugan sought the chair’s permission to counter Vijayakanth, which was denied, leading to a walkout by the party.

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