Preempting the joint agenda of Colombo and New Delhi that seek to project a positive image of Genocidal Colombo among the Indian public, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu J. Jayalalithaa on Wednesday pulled out AIADMK Rajya Sabha parliamentarian Rabi Bernard who was to take part in a parliamentary delegation, scheduled to visit the island in the coming week to inspect the condition of Eezham Tamils in the island of Sri Lanka after the war. The reaction from Tamil Nadu Chief Minister comes following the itinerary of the visit has been produced by the Indian External Affairs Ministry in collusion with the Sri Lankan counter-part, favoring the Sri Lankan State and excluding a free and fair way of inspecting and debating the post-war policies of the SL state. Ms. Jayalalithaa also blamed the Centre for having watered down the US resolution at the recent UNHRC sessions in Geneva.
Citing a number of reasons that the Sri Lankan president Rajapaksa has not come forward to accept even the mild US resolution passed in the UNHRC sessions in Geneva, that the Sri Lankan state has failed to stop the attacks on Tamil Nadu fishermen in the seas, that the latest news reports that Sri Lankan state wants to lodge a complaint at the IAEA against the Koodangku’lam nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu, that there is no attitudinal change in the Sri Lankan state in its policies against the Tamils in Sri Lanka and there was no space provided in the itinerary for the members of the delegation to debate with the Sri Lankan President at the end of the meeting, which is only scheduled as a breakfast meeting with Rajapaksa, the AIADMK has decided to pull out its candidature from the delegation and Mr. Rabi Bernard, the Rajya Sabha MP of the AIADMK, would not take part in the trip, Ms. Jayalalithaa said.
The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister in her statement on Wednesday said that she had initially decided to appoint Mr. William Ravi Bernard, Rajya Sabha MP on behalf of her party, the AIADMK, as the Indian Central government had sought her party to include a member in the 15-member Indian parliamentary delegation, scheduled to visit the island of Sri Lanka from 16 April to 21 April on a fact finding mission under the leadership of the opposition leader to inspect the post-war resettlement and rehabilitation of Tamils affected by the war and to inspect the development activities being carried out there with the assistance from India.
The AIADMK is firm on the stand that Tamils in Sri Lanka should be treated as equal citizens of full rights on a par with the majority Sinhalese and that the war displaced Tamils should be resettled in their own places, Ms. Jayalalithaa said in her statement issued in Tamil.
She also justified the resolution passed in Tamil Nadu Assembly stating that it was based on the abovementioned stand of the party and added that the resolution had demanded the Indian State to request the UN to declare those who were responsible for the inhuman slaying of thousands of Tamils as war criminals and that the Indian State to take measures, together with other States, to impose economic embargo on the Sri Lankan state till it ensured that Tamils could lead a life with dignity on par with the Sinhalese.
But, the Indian central government failed to act on the resolution passed by the Tamil Nadu State Assembly, she said.
On the contrary, the central government was attempting to act against the resolution brought by the US in the UNHRC against Sri Lanka. Despite her continuous letters, the central government was unclear on supporting the UNHRC resolution until the last moment, and then it succeeded in watering down the US resolution before voting in favour of the changed resolution, the Tamil Nadu CM said in her statement.
Even at this stage, she had thanked the centre for the vote, as it could be a first step for the displaced Tamils to gain their rights. It is in this spirit, she had agreed to appoint an AIADMK parliamentarian in the delegation and she thought the visit of the delegation could be an opportunity to inspect and point out the shortcomings of the rehabilitation activities, the CM further clarified.
At this juncture, the itinerary of the visit produced by the External Affairs Ministry to the members of the delegation, sent to the members of the delegation, has given priority to the meetings and dining with Sinhalese political leaders and state representatives. The itinerary looks like that of a round rip tour designed as a mere formality and as a programme prepared by the Sri Lankan government to create a favourable image for themselves within India, lamented the Chief Minister.
She further said that she was concerned that this trip would also end up as an eyewash as it happened with the previous delegation, in which Ms. Kanimozhi, the daughter of DMK Chief M. Karunanidhi, ended up dining with the Sri Lankan president Rajapaksa and receiving gifts from him.