Indian parliament expunges remarks on genocide in Sri Lanka
[TamilNet, Monday, 07 December 2009, 08:13 GMT]
When Communist Party of India (CPI) member D. Raja in his speech Friday in Rajya Sabha pointed out what happened in the island of Sri Lanka was full-scale war and genocide against Tamils with the assistance of Government of India, the Chair ordered to expunge the word genocide from parliamentary records. The verbatim but lengthy debate Friday questioned the government on IDPs, Kachchatheevu, Tamil Nadu fishermen, and about sending a parliamentary delegation to meet Tamil IDPs. But when it came to the core issue of political solution, the debate had nothing new to offer as from Indian foreign minister S M Krishna to main opposition BJP’s Vekaiah Naidu were still harping on treating the Eezham Tamils not as a nation but as a ‘minority’ and perceiving solutions based on obsolete 13th Amendment. Even Raja was using the word ‘national linguistic minority’.
The Rajya Sabha Chair’s order to expunge the word genocide from parliamentary records has been viewed seriously by Tamil circles which made a comparison of it to the efforts of former foreign minister and present finance minister Pranab Mukarjee putting the number of civilians trapped in the final stages of the war at 70,000 when there were actually more than 350,000.
D. Raja in his speech said that it is not only his party but several parties in the UPA coalition have called it genocide. Whenever he brought out the word to describe the plight of Eezham Tamils, it was expunged.
External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna listing out at length what India has done to the release and benefit of the IDPs, made a short note on the political solution with the usual and unfulfilled rhetoric of decades, but with an addition of a ‘plus’ to the 13th Amendment.
“ The government is keen to see the revival of political process in Sri Lanka, which will meet the legitimate interests and aspiration of all communities, including Tamils and the Muslims, within the framework of a united Sri Lanka. Revival of such a political process and an inclusive dialogue would help to bring the minority communities into the political mainstream. We have continued to emphasise to the Sri Lankan government to put forward a meaningful devolution package that would go beyond the 13th Amendment. We will remain engaged with them through this process of transition and reform.”
BJP parliamentarian Venkaiah Naidu who said, “whenever we remember the issue of Sri Lanka Tamils, we are not getting proper sleep” further told the house “Do not treat as if the Sri Lankan Tamil issue is over, because the LTTE has been militarily finished.” His vision of solution was adherence to the 13th Amendment.
Dr. K. Malaisamy, representing Ramanathapuram said that the approach of the Tamil Nadu government to rehabilitation Sri Lankan Tamils in India or in Tamil Nadu will help only Rajapaksa and not Sri Lankan Tamils.