The DMK has decided to pull out of the UPA coalition after it became clear that India was planning to support a watered-down version of a US resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC despite the DMK’s best efforts to get the Centre to back a stronger resolution.
The DMK insists it is only speaking on behalf of the Lankan Tamils against whom massive human rights abuses were carried out during the Lankan conflict in 2009. Yet, there is concern that this move is nothing but political posturing by a party whose top leaders are facing corruption charges and that is desperate to emerge as the champion of Tamils to outdo other parties.
With elections just a year away and little guarantee of the UPA returning to power, the DMK might believe it has little to lose by withdrawing support to the UPA and seeking votes on the basis of having stood by the Sri Lankan Tamils. If that is so, it is sad that an issue as important as the killing of unarmed Lankan Tamils has fallen prey to India’s dirty politics.
New Delhi has always been wary of passing resolutions on human rights abuses, fearing similar resolutions against India for its various human rights abuses in J&K and the Northeast. Yet this is a short-sighted approach. Human rights abuses, anywhere in the world, cannot be condoned. Probing human rights abuses in is a necessary step to bring about long-lasting peace in Sri Lanka, an avowed goal of India too. And there can be no peace unless there is justice.