India told to seek amendments to resolution

A leading international human rights group has urged India to seek amendments to the US resolution on Sri Lanka tabled at the UN Human Rights Council.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) wants India to push for the resolution to authorize an independent, international investigation into the estimated 40,000 civilian deaths at the end of the war in Sri Lanka.

“Over the past year the Sri Lankan government has alternated between threatening activists who seek justice and making small, cynical gestures to keep the international community at bay. It is good that DMK wants a strong resolution at the Human Rights Council and we hope that India will seek amendments to the draft to authorize an independent, international investigation into the estimated 40,000 civilian deaths at the conflict’s end.” HRW South Asia director, Meenakshi Ganguly told the Colombo Gazette.

Meanwhile DMK MP Selvaganapathy has insisted that his party decision to pull out of the Indian coalition UPA government was “not just posturing”, saying that they decided to pull out of the government because it had betrayed the feelings of the Tamils.

However Selvaganapathy said that it was not the intention of the DMK to topple the Indian government over the issue. But he said that they now expected the government to act proactively on the DMK demands.

The DMK wants a stronger UN resolution on Sri Lanka, and are demanding that the terms ‘genocide’, ‘war crimes’ are included, as well as a provision for an international probe. They also want a resolution condemning Sri Lankan genocide passed in Parliament. Reports indicate that they are not willing to compromise on these issues at all.

“We have given a long rope to this government”, the Indian media quoted Selvaganapathy as saying.

Meanwhile a section of the Tamil cinema industry have also joined the continuing state-wide protests against Sri Lanka. Tamil Nadu Film Directors’ Association members led by M Ameer staged a day-long hunger strike in which top filmmakers including Shankar, AR Murugadoss and Balaji Shaktivel participated.

Their demands included implementing a Tamil Nadu Assembly resolution seeking economic sanctions against Colombo till Tamils are ensured status on par with the majority Sinhalese and conducting a referendum among the Sri Lankan Tamils for a separate Tamil Ealam (homeland).

Student protests entered an eighth day in various parts of the state including Chennai, with the participants resorting to various forms of protests including forming a human chain, police said. (Colombo Gazette)