Barely 24 hours after Tamil Nadu’s DMK chief M Karunanidhi warned of pulling out his ministers from the cabinet over the Sri Lankan Tamils issue, Indian Finance Minister P Chidambaram hinted at a possible vote against Sri Lanka at a session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) later this month, NDTV reported today.
“I’m confident that if phrases in the UN resolution sought credible independent international probe, India would support it,” Mr Chidambaram said. This is one of the key amendments that Mr Karunanidhi wants India to introduce in the US-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka at the upcoming UN meet, failing which his party, he said, would “find it meaningless to continue in the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh-led Cabinet.”
The minister also sought to assure students who are gearing up to organise massive protests from Monday across Tamil Nadu, demanding affirmative action against Colombo at the UN session. “I’m feeding you my confidence and you feed this confidence to our students,” Mr Chidambaram said.
Earlier in the day, the government, which has so far been non-committal over its stand on the Lankan Tamils issue, quickly moved to placate the southern ally – Union Minister V Narayanasamy said the Prime Minister would “definitely consider all aspects” before taking a decision on the resolution.
With 18 MPs, Mr Karunanidhi’s party, the DMK, is the second biggest constituent of the Congress-led UPA, providing crucial support to a government that has, of late, been tested vigorously by several coalition partners.
The US-sponsored motion puts the island nation in the dock over alleged war crimes and rights violations against Tamil civilians during the final phase of the war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
Last year, India had supported a similar resolution following pressure from political parties in Tamil Nadu. This time, though, the Centre, has maintained that it will decide its position based on the wording of the resolution.