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Uproar in Parliament over anti-Lanka resolution in UN body

New Delhi(PTI): Faced with angry protests from allies in Parliament on alleged war crimes against ethnic Tamils by Sri Lanka, government today said a final view on its stand at a UN body on the issue has not been taken.

Members of DMK, a key UPA partner, and AIADMK raised the issue and demanded India’s support to a US-sponsored resolution at the UN Human Rights Council and forced adjournment of the Rajya Sabha for the day without transacting any significant business.

“First of all, the date has not yet been fixed and the traditional position of India has all along been –- not only in respect of this case -– that we normally do not support any country-specific resolution,” Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee told the House.

“But what view, on this issue, will be taken will be determined as and when the time is finalised in respect of the meeting of the UN Human Rights Council,” he said as DMK, AIADMK and CPI members rushed to the Well raising slogans on the issue.

Left parties and a section of the Congress supported the Dravidian parties in the Rajya Sabha on the emotive issue.

He told the members that the government has already explained the matter in detail to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa and DMK chief M Karunanidhi.

“The Prime Minister has written two letters to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and Karunanidhi…If members want further clarification, I will request the External Affairs Minister to make a brief statement,” Mukherjee said.

Earlier, as soon as the Lok Sabha convened for the day, DMK member T R Baalu demanded that the government support the US-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka at UNHCHR, Geneva.

Baalu was supported by his party colleagues and members belonging to AIADMK and CPI on the issue of alleged war crimes committed by the Sri Lankan government during its fight against the LTTE. Former Union Minister Dayanidhi Maran was also seen in the aisle waving placards.

The Rajya Sabha was adjourned for the day following uproar by DMK and AIADMK on the issue, which had earlier led to repeated stalling of proceedings in the Upper House.

As the House met for the day, members rushed to the Well raising the issue. This prompted Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari to allow members to speak on the matter. AIADMK member V Maitreyan, T Siva (DMK), T K Rangarajan (CPI-M), D Raja (CPI) and B S Gnanadesikan (Cong) spoke on the issue.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister P K Bansal’s assurances failed to cut any ice with the agitating members who wanted a clarification from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Amid the din, Ansari adjourned the House till noon.

The uproar continued during the Zero Hour, with agitating members trooping into the well not paying heed to repeated pleas by Deputy Chairman K Rahman Khan, leading to its adjournment for 15 minutes and then again till 2 PM.

Soon after the Rajya Sabha reassembled in the post-lunch session, members of AIADMK and DMK trooped into the well and demanded that the government give an assurance that India will support the resolution.

Khan requested members to take their seats in view of government’s assurance that it will make a statement on the issue tomorrow, but members did not budge, forcing the chair to adjourn the House for the day.

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