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DMK leader Stalin urges India take action on Sri Lanka at UNHRC

M K Stalin, president of the Tamil Nadu opposition party Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), has urged the Indian Prime Minister to take the lead with a stronger line on Sri Lanka at the upcoming UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) session.

In a letter sent to Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week, Stalin was critical of Indian foreign minister S Jaishankar's silence on the UNHRC process during his recent visit to Sri Lanka.

“It is now clear that the Government of Sri Lanka has seriously failed to honour its UNHRC commitments under Resolution 40/1, and has also been reluctant to take forward constructive and internationally acceptable measures for accountability in the matters of war crimes and all human rights violations,” the letter said. It had failed to bring forward substantive constitutional and administrative initiatives to uphold the dignity of the Tamils.

Highlighting how successive Sri Lankan governments had watered down the commitments made under the 13th Amendment, already considered weak and inadequate by most Tamil groups, Stalin said that Sri Lanka had failed to fulfil the "legitimate aspirations" of the Tamils and that "the actions of these governments have deviated from the commitments made under the India-Sri Lanka Accord of 1987.”

Urging the Prime Minister to push for the full implementation of the 13th Amendment, the party leader also pushed for strong action from India at the UNHRC session: “You may recall that India has voted against Sri Lanka at UNHRC in the past. I, therefore, request you to effectively cause India to take the initiative in an earnest manner and implore other member-nations of UNHRC early so as to move the issue collectively and ensure that the appeals of joint Tamil representation from Sri Lanka are met at the 46th session of UNHRC,” he said.

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