DMK chief M Karunanidhi and MDMK leader Vaiko on Tuesday said India should not participate in a defence conference to be held in Sri Lanka between August 18 and 20. In a statement, Karunanidhi alleged that the NDA government had been following the policies of the UPA government when it came to matters relating to Sri Lanka. “I urge the Centre not to function like the previous UPA government on Lankan issues,” he said.
Vaiko said, “It is shocking to learn that an Indian delegation, comprising senior military personnel, officials and BJP leaders, including Subramanian Swamy, will be participating in a defence conference being organised by Sri Lanka.” Reiterating his charge that Sri Lanka had committed genocide and annihilated Tamils using even banned chemical weapons, Vaiko said the Centre’s pro-Lanka stance had led to doubts whether India was going to bury justice by joining hands with the island nation.
“At a time when several nations are urging an independent, international probe into the genocide in the United Nations Human Rights Council, an Indian delegation participating in the Lanka defence meet is unpardonable,” he said.
Karunanidhi pointed out a statement issued by the US mission in Sri Lanka on the cancellation of a training session for Tamil journalists in Colombo. The training on digital security for Jaffna-based journalists was financially supported by the US. The US embassy statement said the cancellation of the event “was accompanied by a series of threats and intimidation of participants and other journalists in the country.” Citing the US mission’s statement, Karunanidhi said while the US was expressing its disappointment, India’s silence on the issue had upset Tamils worldwide. (TOI)