Uproar in Rajya Sabha over Sri Lankan ‘war crimes’
New Delhi: The Rajya Sabha was disrupted Tuesday as opposition parties demanded to know the government’s stand on atrocities on Sri Lankan Tamils after a picture of a bullet-ridden body of a boy said to be the 12-year-old son of slain LTTE chief V. Prabhakaran surfaced.
The house was adjourned till noon. As soon as the house met at 11 a.m., members of the AIADMK and DMK started shouting slogans, forcing chairperson Hamid Ansari to allow them make a statement.
The opposition parties demanded to know the government’s stand on a US-backed resolution against Sri Lanka at the United Nations Human Rights Council for alleged war crimes.
Said V. Maitreyan of the AIADMK member: “The entire world knows about the war crimes against Sri Lankan Tamils. The Tamil Nadu chief minister has raised this issue with the prime minister. We want an answer from the prime minister… will they support the UN resolution.”
The DMK, an ally of the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA), urged the government to support the US’ resolution.
“The US has moved the resolution in the human rights council meeting going in Geneva and we urge the government to support the resolution,” said Tiruchi Siva, DMK MP.
D. Raja of the Communist Party of India (CPI) criticised the government for not taking a stand on the issue, saying that India, being the neighbour, should have moved the resolution and not the US.
Joining the debate, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader M. Venkaiah Naidu asked the government to inform the house about their approach to the issue.
“It is a sensitive issue and we cannot (close) our eyes and ears as atrocities are being committed. We would like to know the response and approach of India government,” he said.
With the ruckus continuing, Parliamentary Affairs Minister P.K. Bansal said the government would issue a statement by the evening.
“India’s meticulous adherence and respect for human rights is respected the world over. I have got the views of members expressed here and would not like to comment accepting that at this time we do not know what is the resolution before the council,” said Bansal.
“I will get in touch with the minister of external affairs soon and will come with a statement in the house by evening,” he added.
When the members continued with protests demanding an immediate assurance from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who was present in the house, the chair adjourned the house till noon.