As the 46th session of the UN Human Rights Council is set to vote on a crucial resolution on Sri Lanka tomorrow, politicians in Tamil Nadu have come out with statements urging the Indian government to vote in favour of the resolution, and for justice and accountability for Eelam Tamils.
The stance of the Indian government has acquired particular prominence in the state because of Sri Lankan Foreign Secretary Jayanath Colombage’s recent remarks that India has “assured support for Sri Lanka at the UNHRC.”
That the Ministry of External Affairs did not deny this claim caused anxiety in Tamil Nadu and led to suspicions whether the central government was planning to support Colombo at the Human Rights Council. Leader of Opposition in the state M.K. Stalin said in a tweet, “The information that India will support Sri Lanka in the UNHRC vote on Sri Lanka against war crimes is shocking.”
போர்க்குற்றங்களுக்கு எதிரான #UNHRC வாக்கெடுப்பில் இலங்கை அரசுக்கு ஆதரவாக இந்தியா வாக்களிக்கும் என்ற தகவல் அதிர்ச்சியளிக்கிறது.
— M.K.Stalin (@mkstalin) March 21, 2021
“India should never take a stance unjust to Ilankai Tamils,” he added.
“India should vote in favour of the resolution on war crimes in Sri Lanka at the UNHRC,” stated Thol. Thirumavalavan, leader of the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK).
#ஐநா மனித உரிமைக் கவுன்சிலில் #இலங்கை_போர்க்குற்றம் தொடர்பான
தீர்மானத்துக்கு ஆதரவாக இந்தியா
இந்திய அரசுக்கு விடுதலைச் சிறுத்தைகள் கட்சி வலியுறுத்தல்!@UNOCHA pic.twitter.com/lw91F191ml
— Thol. Thirumavalavan (@thirumaofficial) March 21, 2021
Anbumani Ramadoss, head of the Pattali Makkal Katchi, said in a letter to the External Affairs Minister, “I request that India votes in favour of the UNHRC Resolution on Sri Lanka and stand for human rights and peace in Sri Lanka.”
"I request that India votes in favor of the #HRC46 resolution on SriLanka and stand for #HumanRights and peace in #SriLanka" @DrSJaishankar @IndraManiPR @IndiaUNGeneva #HRC46 #JusticeForTamils #TamilGenocide #UNHRC46 #LKA #JusticeForMuslims #IIIM #PMK pic.twitter.com/ElfrgkMsdz
— Dr ANBUMANI RAMADOSS (@draramadoss) March 21, 2021
A senior member of the Congress Party and parliamentarian P. Chidambaram emphasised that “India must stand by the Tamils and other communities that have been denied human rights.”
INDIA must vote in favour of the resolution and call out the violations by the Sri Lanka government.
INDIA must stand by the Tamils and other communities that have been denied human rights.
— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) March 20, 2021
Senthamizh Seeman, chief coordinator of the Tamil nationalist Naam Tamilar Katchi (NTK) said "India must not perpetrate a historical betrayal again by supporting the genocidal state of Sri Lanka in the UN Council," in a strongly worded statement.
ஐ.நா அவையில் இனப்படுகொலை நாடான இலங்கைக்கு ஆதரவளித்து, மீண்டும் ஓர் வரலாற்றுப் பெருந்துரோகத்தை இந்திய அரசு புரிந்துவிடக்கூடாது - சீமான் pic.twitter.com/COg1BxRaWn
— நாம் தமிழர் செய்திகள் (@NtkSeithigal) March 23, 2021
The flurry of statements of support for Eelam Tamils from Chennai signifies the growing current of Tamil nationalist sentiment across the Palk Strait. Tamil Nadu is headed for polls set to take place on April 6.
While campaigning goes on in full swing, the resolution on Sri Lanka is being closely watched by Tamil Nadu politicians and people, making it difficult for New Delhi to vote against the interests of Eelam Tamils.