Trio of ministers meet Karunanidhi to broker peace over Sri Lanka

Tuesday, 19 March 2013 01:21 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

New Delhi /Chennai:  The centre is under extreme pressure to vote against Sri Lanka on 21 March, when the United Nations’ top human rights body meets in Geneva. The US is moving a resolution that is expected to criticise Sri Lanka for alleged war crimes and human rights violations by its defence forces in the final phases of the civil war against the Tamil Tigers which ended in May 2009.

Amid the controversy, India has called off Defence Secretary-level talks with Sri Lanka slated to begin on 23 March. A trio of ministers – P. Chidambaram, A.K. Antony and Ghulam Nabi Azad – met DMK chief M. Karunanidhi last evening to broker a possible compromise after he threatened to drop out of the government. “We would report Karunanidhi’s suggestions for amendments to the Prime Minister. I can’t say anything more,” said Azad after the meeting.

The DMK, which is the Prime Minister’s main ally, says that just voting against Sri Lanka in Geneva is not enough. The DMK wants India to add strongly-worded amendments to the US resolution, asking for an international probe that must be completed within a fixed period on the island’s “genocide.”

India has not yet seen the final format of the proposed resolution at the UN Human Rights Council against Sri Lanka, the Foreign Ministry said on Monday. The text of the resolution is expected to be finalised and circulated tonight.