The AIADMK revived an old political issue when it brought up the 2009 war against the LTTE
Chief Minister K Palaniswami Tuesday demanded an international probe against DMK and ally Congress for “war crimes” against Tamils in the 2009 Sri Lankan civil conflict when UPA was in power, as the ruling AIADMK staged a state-wide protest over the issue.
Addressing a protest meeting in his native Salem district, K Palaniswami said the party wanted to draw the attention of the union government and global nations about the ‘betrayal’ of Tamils by DMK and Congress.
Reviving an old political issue, AIAMDK had last week announced the protest in the backdrop of former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s recent remarks that that the Indian government helped his country during the final war against Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in 2009.
Mr Palaniswami alleged the Sri Lankan Tamils, believing the word of then Chief Minister M Karunanidhi that the war had ended after his three hour fast here for their cause, had come out of hiding only to be killed by Lankan soldiers, leading to a ‘genocide’.
“There is a strong case against DMK and Congress for an international inquiry into this heinous crime and also human rights violations… the meeting is to highlight to the people, the real faces of the two parties,” he said. The ‘truth’ came out after Rajapaksa’s recent comments “about the actual position,” he said.
Ministers and senior party leaders participated in public protest meetings held across the state. The AIADMK used the state wide protests to hit out at arch rival DMK, which has been upping the ante against the government on various issues, including corruption.
Criticising AIADMK for holding the protests, DMK has alleged that it was a bid to divert attention from the corruption charges AIADMK faced. Both Congress and DMK had faced flak for India’s reported assistance to Sri Lanka then and their failure to prevent casualties of Tamils despite being in power. AIADMK had on September 19 adopted a resolution at a meeting in Salem, alleging that DMK and Congress were responsible for the killings of thousands of Tamils during the war.
Addressing at a symposium organised by Virat Hindustan Sangam in Delhi on September 12, Mr Rajapaksa had said India’s “abiding friendship” was amply demonstrated by its rapid response to Sri Lanka’s needs at the time (2009), both material and moral.
Mr Rajapaksa was at the helm when the nearly 30 year long ethnic strife in Sri Lanka ended then with the defeat of LTTE,while DMK was part of the Congress-led UPA that ruled India in 2009. Against this background, the AIADMK resolution had said:”Now that Rajapaksa has openly admitted to all secrets, the DMK-Congress coalition government aiding the killings of 1.5lakh Tamils and rapes of thousands of Tamil women should be treated as war crimes and those involved should be made warcriminals and given punishment.”
DMK has moved the Madras High Court, levelling corruption charges against Mr Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, among others, which have been rejected by the AIADMK as politically motivated.