Onlanka News – By Walter Jayawardhana
The India Today magazine said Jayalalitha’s withdrawal of her nominee from the all-party parliamentary delegation to Sri Lanka has upset Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s calculations who is bending over backwards to pacify the ruffled feathers of Sri Lanka after the vote at the UNHRC meeting in Geneva.
“Upsetting the calculations of the UPA government which is bending over backwards to pacify the ruffled feathers of Sri Lanka after the vote at the UN Human Rights Council meet, Jayalalithaa has withdrawn the AIADMK nominee from the all-party parliamentary delegation visiting that country to study the plight of the ethnic Tamils,”wrote India Today.
The magazine also called that it is seen as a severe jolt to New Delhi’s efforts to make peace with its Southern neighbor
“ In a statement on Wednesday, the AIADMK chief dissociated her party from being a mere appendage, saying the delegation would not serve any purpose. AIADMK’s Rajya Sabha member A W Rabi Bernard would not be part of the exercise as the itinerary does not include meeting the war-affected people and taking up their issues with the Lankan” President.
Led by BJP leader Sushma Swaraj, it is to ascertain the rehabilitation of the Tamils displaced by the war which ended in the decimation of the LTTE in May 2009. The team of MPs would visit the island nation from April 16 to 21.
Jayalalitha said , In her view, the programme schedule laid greater emphasis on ‘meeting and dining’ with Sinhalese leaders and government officials and appears to be designed by Colombo. This, according to her, was intended for an image makeover for the Rajapaksa regime, which is cornered globally on the human rights front.
More, she found fault at the absence of journalists, rights activists and independent observers in the delegation.
The chief minister also criticised New Delhi for its failure to act on the Tamil Nadu Assembly resolution, seeking an economic embargo on Colombo, and playing a pivotal role in diluting the US-sponsored resolution at the UNHRC meet.
Referring to the what she said as continued attack on Indian fishermen by the Lankan forces and the slow pace of rehabilitation of the war-displaced, she said Sri Lanka was only continuing its anti-Tamil stance even three years after the war.
In these circumstances, the AIADMK not being part of the MPs team would turn out to be an eyewash as was the case with the earlier visit of a delegation of MPs comprising the DMK and Congress.
As soon as she came back to power, Jayalalithaa got the assembly pass a resolution urging the centre to ask the UN to declare the people behind the “genocide” in Sri Lanka as “war criminals”. She also called for an economic embargo on Sri Lanka, pending the return of all the displaced Tamils to their native places
A staunch opponent of the LTTE, Jayalalithaa has been resolute on the Tamil issue since she came back to power. It was one of her poll-issues in the last parliamentary elections.
Taking this as an opportunity to give a shot at her rival Kanimozhi , DMK leader’s daughter , who is thought of being groomed up as a future Chief Minister of the state Jayalalitha said in a previous delegation what the DMK politician did was to enjoy banquets with Rajapaksa and receive gifts from him.