ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Keep Up the Pressure

It is imperative for the Indian government to demand accountability from the Sri Lankan government.

The new wave of outrage in Tamil Nadu over exposes on war crimes in Sri Lanka against the minority Tamil citizens during the Eelam civil war in 2009 does not come as a surprise. A series of protests led by students and lawyers have demanded that India take a stronger position in international fora like the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), thereby forcing an international investigation into the war crimes. These protests have been radicalised by the presence of traditional Eelam-supporting fringe groups even as the Dravidian parties have resorted to their usual opportunist “Tamil nationalist” rhetoric and fanning the waves of Tamil chauvinism.

The escalating anger in Tamil Nadu provided the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) the most opportune moment to cut its losses and get out of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA). It was only incidental that it demanded a more strongly worded Indian intervention (including the word “genocide”) in the US-sponsored resolution on Sri Lanka in the UNHRC meeting in Geneva last week. However, it is difficult to fault the reasoning behind the DMK’s withdrawal of support to the UPA government at the centre. The Congress’ unpopularity in Tamil Nadu and the diminishing returns for the DMK at the centre with the loss of its clout following a series of corruption scandals made no sense for the party to continue with the status quo.

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