Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Wednesday hurled a political time-bomb by demanding that the Central Government impose economic sanctions against Sri Lanka.
Piloting a resolution demanding imposition of economic sanctions against Sri Lanka in the State assembly, Jayalalithaa said only economic sanctions that hurt its economy would force the Sri Lankan Government to alleviate sufferings of hundreds of thousands of innocent Tamil speaking populace there.
The resolution was passed unanimously by a voice vote.
Sri Lanka did not heed the global opinion when it came to the Tamils issue, Jayalalithaa said demanding that India press the United Nations to declare those responsible for the genocide against innocent Tamils as “war criminals”.
Only economic sanctions, imposed by India and other countries, would rein in Sri Lanka. “Only then would Sri Lanka listen to what we say,” Jayalalithaa said in her speech, moving the resolution.
Several serious allegations of human rights violations formed the basis for the resolution, the Chief Minister said alleging that Tamils were being treated as second class citizens in their own country.
The Tamil Nadu assembly resolution was anticipated, as Jayalalithaa had been expressing strong views on the Sri Lankan Tamils issue for the past few years and had held the union Government and the DMK Government in Tamil Nadu jointly responsible for the plight of the innocent Tamils.
She also took a dig at Karunanidhi who undertook a “fast” after having breakfast and calling it off later in the day.
Jayalalithaa had strongly criticised Karunanidhi for merely writing letters on the Lankan Tamils plight but when it came to his own family members, he threatened to withdraw support to the UPA Government.
She had maintained that the Central Government and the previous DMK Government paid only lip service to suffering Tamils and at the same time played host to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
In a related development, Jayalalithaa asked for the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s intervention in the release of four Tamil fishermen hailing from the coastal town of Ramanathapuram, who are being held by the Sri Lankan Police ever since they surrendered after they landed on Sri Lankan soil.
The four fishermen, whose boat got destroyed on sea due to inclement weather, swam across to Nainatheevu in Sri Lanka and surrendered to Army authorities there on 3 June. Since then, they have been held by the Sri Lankan Police, Jayalalithaa, said requesting the Prime Minister to expedite their release. The Sri Lankan Government could release them as a goodwill gesture, the Chief Minister said.