08 June 2011
In a show of unity, the Tamil Nadu Assembly led by Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, unanimously passed a resolution calling upon the central government in India to ensure those responsible for the massacre of Tamil civilians in Sri Lanka are declared 'war criminals' by the United Nations.
The resolution also demanded that India should join hands with the international community to impose economic sanctions on the island nation over the ill treatment of Tamils.
Jayalalithaa moved the resolution in the Assembly stating allegations of Sri Lanka committing human rights violations and preventing humanitarian aids from reaching the suffering Tamils prompted her to move the resolution.
During the debate Jayalalithaa further said only economic sanctions would "rein in" Sri Lanka, which "did not heed the global opinion when it came to the Tamils issue".
"If India and other countries impose sanctions, Sri Lanka has to listen to what we say" she added.
"There is no other way to make the Sri Lankan government see reason. It has always ignored calls for equal treatment to Tamils,” Jayalalithaa argued in response to the accusation that such sanctions inflict suffering upon ordinary civilians.
Detailing the long-standing discrimination and racism inflicting upon the Tamil nation by the Sri Lankan state since independence in 1948, the Chief Minister recounted the terrible events of 2009 in her address to the Assembly.
“The Sri Lankan military rained shells on ‘no fire' zones and bombed hospitals; the government blocked humanitarian aid from reaching the people there and a large number of Tamils died due to shortage of food and water. Human rights violations took place."
"The Sri Lankan military relentlessly and mercilessly bombed the civilians" said Jayalalithaa.
The latest move by Jayalalithaa follows her call to the Indian Government, following the leaking of the UN experts panel report on Sri Lanka, to take "immediate steps to make Rajapakse and his cronies stand trial in the International Court of Justice for his war crimes,"
Commenting on the resolution MDMK leader Vaiko said 'it was a welcome sign that the resolution had been passed unanimously.'
Coordinator of Tamil Protection Movement (TPM) P.Nedumaran also welcomed the resolution labelling it a 'historically significant step taken by the assembley that represents 65 million Tamils'. He also urged Jayalalithaa to convene an all party meeting consisting of political parties from all the states in India to garner support on the issue.