Lankan issue: Karunanidhi leaves UPA on tenterhooks

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M Karunanidhi
Chennai, Mar 17: The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) is likely to pull out of the central government if the party's request for India to back a strongly-worded resolution against Sri Lanka at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) meeting in Geneva falls on deaf ears.

DMK supremo M Karunanidhi is apparently unhappy because no one from the Centre has bothered to discuss the issue with him even though he had made it amply clear two days ago that Colombo must be put on the spot at the UNHRC meet.

"India should take steps to amend the American resolution to include that war criminals responsible for the genocide in Sri Lanka be identified, hold a free international enquiry against them and take time-bound appropriate action," he said on Friday.

Karunanidhi had warned that if "this request" is not heeded, DMK would not remain in the UPA. Senior Union ministers tried to placate him by indicating that India may vote in favour of the US-sponsored resolution.

However, they did not give any assurance regarding his two main demands - i) an independent probe into numerous war crimes allegedly committed by the Lankan military during the internecine conflict that ravaged the island nation till mid 2009.

ii) strong condemnation of the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime for not ending racial discrimination towards the minority Tamils.

Addressing newspersons here on Sunday, Karunanidhi said that if the final draft of the resolution does not lay stress on both the aforementioned aspects, then his party will not hesitate to exit from the ruling coalition.

Though India voted for a similar resolution at the UNHRC meeting last year, the UPA is still undecided on how it will vote this time.

Some members of the UNHRC are expected to support Sri Lanka. In case the meeting adopts resolution by consensus, the Centre is reasonably confident that DMK would not carry out its threat.

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