This Article is From Mar 17, 2013

Chidambaram hints at likely vote against Sri Lanka at UN meet

Karaikudi, Tamil Nadu: Finance Minister P Chidambaram today hinted at a possible vote against Sri Lanka at a session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) later this month.

Addressing a budget explanatory public meeting his home town, Karaikudi, Mr Chidamabaram said, "I'm not the Prime Minister nor I am the External Affairs Minister. I'm confident that if phrases in the UN resolution sought credible independent international probe, India would support it."

The minister also sought to assure students who are gearing up to organise massive protests from Monday across Tamil Nadu, demanding affirmative action against Colombo at the UN session. "I'm feeding you my confidence and you feed this confidence to our students," Mr Chidambaram said.

This comes a day after the UPA's southern ally, the DMK, threatened to pull out its ministers from the union cabinet if India did not amend the resolution to incorporate demand for international probe and time bound action against those who may be found guilty of war crimes.

With 18 MPs, Mr Karunanidhi's party, the DMK, is the second biggest constituent of the Congress-led UPA, providing crucial support to a government that has, of late, been tested vigorously by several coalition partners.

Earlier in the day, the government, which has so far been non-committal over its stand on the Lankan Tamils issue, quickly moved to placate the southern ally - Union Minister V Narayanasamy said the Prime Minister would "definitely consider all aspects" before taking a decision on the resolution.

The US-sponsored motion puts the island nation in the dock over alleged war crimes and rights violations against Tamil civilians during the final phase of the war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

The resolution is moved by the US for the second time. Last year, India had supported a similar resolution following pressure from political parties in Tamil Nadu. This time, though, the Centre, has maintained that it will decide its position based on the wording of the resolution.