Tamil Nadu condemns Rajapaksa’s presence at UN

Condemning the presence of genocide-accused Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the UN General Assembly, over 20,000 Tamils from Tamil Nadu gathered in Chennai on Wednesday to voice their protest. Over 150 Tamil Nadu based organizations took part in the event. The demonstration saw the participation of political parties, social movements, civil society organizations, youth groups, Muslim and Dalit organizations. The protesters also called on the UN to conduct a referendum for an independent Tamil Eelam. While the protesters in Tamil Nadu were raising their voices against SL president, the Indian Prime Minister is scheduled to have a bi-lateral meeting with SL President in the USA on Saturday. In the meantime, Indian and Pakistani sources ruled out a such bilateral meeting between the presidents of India and Pakistan during their presence in the UK.

On Wednesday, the protesting activists in Tamil Nadu demanded a real international investigation that also addresses the genocide against Eelam Tamils in the island of Sri Lanka. The event was significant for the large participation of Muslim organizations, who were very vocal in condemning genocide-accused Sri Lanka and demanding Tamil Eelam. The protesters at the event also called on India to revoke the ban on the LTTE. The protest was called by political activist Velmurugan under the banner of Thamizhar Vaazhvurimaik Kooddamaippu.

On Thursday, the SL president used the podium of the UN General Assembly, to accuse ‘some in the Human Rights Council’ as having ‘ill-conceived agendas’. “There is an obvious lack of balance and proportion in the manner in which my country is being targeted today,” he said. “This is in sharp contrast with the approach to deeply disturbing situations involving humanitarian emergencies elsewhere,” he continued.

“For multi-lateralism to remain relevant and effective, reform of institutions concerned is essential. To be successful, this process must involve de-politicisation of the UN systems and mechanisms and they must stop being hostage to different forms of funding. UN bodies must find ways to work with governments through dialogue, greater understanding of situations and cooperation including assisting to strengthen national institutions. This approach, instead of strong arm tactics, must form the heart of multi-lateral diplomacy, in the search for sustainable solutions to global challenges,” he told the UN Assembly.

On Friday, the Sri Lankan media in Colombo was selectively highlighting a photo of SL President Mahinda Rajapaksa with US President Barack Obama, taken at a reception hosted by US President and First Lady to all the country heads attending the UN Summit in New York on Tuesday evening.

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