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Govt under attack in LS over plight of ethnic Tamils

March 07, 2013 15:01 IST

The government on Thursday came under attack in the Lok Sabha from its friends and foes over the plight of the ethnic Tamils in Sri Lanka, with demands that India should take a lead in ensuring passage of a resolution against the island nation at an upcoming United Nations meet.

During a debate on the issue, Bharatiya Janata Party leader Yashwant Sinha said India should also caution other neighbours against interfering in the Sri Lankan affairs or Indo-Sri Lankan relations.

"Let India not merely vote ... in the UNHRC but take the lead in drafting the resolution and carry it through the UNHRC," said Sinha, a former external affairs minister.

"Foreign policy is not conducted out of fear but with confidence and elan," he said, while noting that India has a lot of clout but seems that have lost momentum.

He wanted to know what happened to India's "stature" and hoped that the government would wake up.

Sinha said an impartial inquiry should be held into the "genocide" carried out against Sri Lankan Tamils and there should be a clear commitment from that government that guilty shall be punished.

Initiating the discussion, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader T R Baalu, whose party is a key constituent of the ruling UPA, wanted the government to ensure passage of the UN resolution to fix accountability for the war crimes.

Demanding that the guilty of the Sri Lankan war crimes be taken to the International Court of Justice to "give some solace to the victims", he said India should not be "lukewarm" but have a clear-cut approach on the issue at the UN.

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