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DMK sticks to its demand on Sri Lankan resolution

Updated: March 19, 2013, 4:02 PM IST
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DMK sticks to its demand on Sri Lankan resolution
The DMK has also demanded international investigation into the alleged war crimes by the Sri Lankan Army against Lankan Tamils.

Chennai/New Delhi: Even though the DMK has pulled out of the Congress-led UPA over the US-sponsored war crimes resolution on Sri Lanka, the party is still adamant that its three demands on the issue be incorporated into the resolution. The M Karunanidhi-led party insists that the terms "genocide" and "war crimes" should be included in the US-backed resolution.

It has also demanded an international investigation into the alleged war crimes by the Sri Lankan Army against Lankan Tamils during the almost three-decade long conflict with Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE) cadres.

Government sources that the UPA managers are in touch with the DMK and are trying to convince the party to give up on the inclusion of the term "genocide" in the United Nation Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution. The sources add that the term "genocide" can be used in diplomatic parlance only after an international probe.

However, some amendments in UNHRC resolution on Sri Lanka can be moved by India and amendment will make it more stringent. But no decision has been taken on inclusion of the word "genocide" while the resolution in Parliament will be moved only if there is consensus and the government is speaking to all political parties, say sources

The Congress core committee is meeting to finalise its strategy while the Cabinet Committee on Security will meet later to finalise the compromise formula. The developments come after Karunanidhi announced that his 18 Lok Sabha MPs were no longer a part of the UPA, reducing the Union Government to a minority. He also announced that five DMK ministers will resign either on Tuesday or Wednesday.

But he also left a window open, saying he will reconsider his decision if Parliament passes a resolution against Sri Lanka by March 21. "If the government passes a resolution in Parliament before Friday condemning the Sri Lankan government, DMK is willing to reconsider its decision. The Centre is not doing enough for the Tamil cause," said Karunanidhi

DMK Rajya Sabha MP Vasanthi Stanley also said that the window of negotiation with the UPA was still open. "We are not here to destabilise the government, we are sure government will look at our demand. There is no divorce from the UPA, only an attempt to explain our position," said Vasanthi.

She also added that DMK was serious about withdrawing the support. "Our leader has given a statement earlier. As for submitting a letter to the President, if required that will also be done," she said.

However, the principal opposition party - the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) - is opposed to a country-specific resolution.

First Published: March 19, 2013, 4:02 PM IST
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