News / Asia

UN Vote on Sri Lankan Civil War Threatens Indian Government

Leader of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam party M. Karunanidhi speaks at a press conference withdrawing support to India’s ruling United Progressive Alliance government, at the party office in Chennai, India, March 19, 2013.Leader of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam party M. Karunanidhi speaks at a press conference withdrawing support to India’s ruling United Progressive Alliance government, at the party office in Chennai, India, March 19, 2013.
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Leader of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam party M. Karunanidhi speaks at a press conference withdrawing support to India’s ruling United Progressive Alliance government, at the party office in Chennai, India, March 19, 2013.
Leader of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam party M. Karunanidhi speaks at a press conference withdrawing support to India’s ruling United Progressive Alliance government, at the party office in Chennai, India, March 19, 2013.
Anjana Pasricha
Discord in India about a United Nations resolution on war crimes committed during Sri Lanka’s civil war has prompted a key regional ally to pull out of the coalition government. The government says its stability is not under threat, but the Congress-led alliance has become more fragile. 

The DMK party, which announced Tuesday it will quit the government, is based in the southern Tamil Nadu state, which has a majority Tamil population. The party has demanded that the government amend an American-sponsored resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Council to declare that Sri Lanka committed genocide against its minority Tamil population in the last stages of a civil war which ended a quarter century Tamil insurgency. The DMK also wants the U.N. resolution to press for an international inquiry.

The U.N. resolution calls on the Sri Lankan government to investigate possible human rights violations during the campaign.

The Congress-led government has not revealed yet what position it will take when the U.N. resolution is put to vote later this week. The DMK party also wants Indian parliament to pass a resolution similar to the one in the United Nations.

The Sri Lankan government has not met commitments to rehabilitate its Tamil population, the spokesperson of the party, T. K. Elangovan, told parliament.

“It is the moral duty of the government of India to see that these assurances were fulfilled or else to put pressure on the government of Sri Lanka to see these assurances are kept up. Why India is a silent spectator," he asked.

India Tamil activists try to push past a barricade during a protest against alleged wartime abuses by Sri Lanka in Chennai, India.
India Tamil activists try to push past a barricade during a protest against alleged wartime abuses by Sri Lanka in Chennai, India.

The government faces a dilemma. On the one hand, it is under pressure from ethnic Tamil parties like the DMK to take a tough stand against Sri Lanka on the question of alleged rights violations against Tamils. But it does not want to anger its tiny neighbor for fear that it will move closer to China.  

The DMK has 18 seats in the lower house of parliament. This includes five government ministers. Its withdrawal makes the Congress alliance, which is already in a minority, more vulnerable.  

However, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said there is no “crisis” for the government.

“Let me assure everyone that the stability of the government and the continuance of the government are not an issue," he said. "The government is absolutely stable.”

The government is holding talks with the DMK party to find a way out of the current impasse. Unless it can bring the Tamil party back on board, it will have to depend on small regional parties to pass legislation and will face more political uncertainty in the last year of its five-year term.

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by: Elavarasan from: Chennai
March 20, 2013 10:32 AM
This is bullshit, I don’t know why these Indian politicians hesitating to put vote for Tamils against Lanka, One Delhi girl got raped which reveals this as big issue by Media people and by politicians.....The same things happened for Thousands of our Indian sisters as well as many murders but both Media people and Politicians not talking about this as big issue..... Even some Politicians know about these murders and rapes in this situation they hesitate to put vote for our own people even when other countries are ready to support for us.....India will never grow if these kinds of politician people under ruling in India…..


by: Ganesh from: London
March 20, 2013 3:06 AM
Congress led India has supported the Srilankan sinhala state since indira-gandhi passed away. Nomatter who demands it, Student's of Tamilnaadu or politicians at the end the Support of Mainland-Tamils for their Island-Tamils has been there and it will continue. A genocide on Tamils occured in May 2009 " the Blood Bath on Beach" An international Investigations is a must before reconciliation...No Justice No Peace....Congress Central Goverment does not bother about Tamilnaadu fisherman getting killed by Sihala Navy.. so is Tamil Life less worth then any Others???

In Response

by: Vinoth from: US
March 20, 2013 9:58 PM
always tamilnadu fisherman cross the sri lankan board so Sri lankan navy arrested the indian fisherman and indian fisherman have a no authorize to cross the sri lankan boarder.


by: Tamil from: California
March 19, 2013 2:17 PM
Mr. Karunanithi is an opportunistic vulture of Tamil Nadu, who disgraced Tamils for decades. I am a Tamil speaking Indian as well.
Jaya Lalitha is not Tamil Nadu born and she is doing better than him for Tamils ( I am not her fan at all). When LTTE massacred Sri Lankan Tamils that was not genocide for DMK, even though LTTE was the acting state at the time [collected tax]. When LTTE murdered Rajive that was not murder for DMK, because Karunanithi and Prabakaran are peas from the same pod.
He has many noise making clowns in parliament and Indian ministry. Hope Tamil speaking Indians will unmask these kind of guys.


by: prabath dlk from: Tokyo
March 19, 2013 10:41 AM
This shows Real Double standers of us & India ..America cannot remember how many Innocent people the LTTE killed in sri lanka
Sinhalese , Tamils , ..
Americans can go to other country to totally destroy country's Like Irak, Afghanistan, Libya did Sri Lanka did some thing different yes they did it in there own back yard , & they succeeded ..Why Double standers


by: RR from: Boston
March 19, 2013 10:29 AM
The srilankan tamil cause lost all credibility with India when the tamils turned against the IPKF who were there specifically to protect their interests, just so that the tamil tigers and Prabhakaran could hold on to power.

Then, to make matters worse they killed Rajiv Gandhi.

We can't be particularly bothered about them. They are not trust worthy and brought everything that's happening to them upon themselves. You can jab a dog and complain that it bit you.

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