Protests over the Sri Lankan Tamil issue continued across Tamil Nadu and Puducherry states of India. The U.N. has estimated that some 40,000 people were killed in the final months of the Sri Lankan civil war, while rights groups put the death toll even higher. Sri Lanka denies that its forces killed civilians.
In Puducherry city, fishermen protesters were seen in their boats around 20 meters from the shore line, shouting slogans against the Sri Lankan President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, and the Indian Government. The protesters held black flags and burnt an effigy of Sri Lankan President.
According to media reports, in Chennai at Marina beach, a human chain of over 1,000 students was held as part of a protest call given by a student body to mobilize ten million students even as many of them in various colleges staged a sit-in and demonstrations.
Protests and demonstrations were reported from the advocates of the state high court along with various other national and regional political parties.
According to a report by the Economic Times, residents in many parts of the Chennai city staged a day-long fast and protests to express solidarity with Sri Lankan Tamils, besides pressing for other demands, including an independent probe for alleged war crimes against Colombo.
Indian Government is under pressure to take tougher stand against the killing of ethnic Tamils in Sri Lanka. However on Wednesday morning the Indian Finance Minister, P. Chidambaram, announced that India has decided to move amendments to the U.N. resolution and other political parties were being consulted over it.
A vote on the U.N. resolution, which addresses the alleged atrocities against the country’s Tamil civilians during Sri Lanka’s decades-long war, will be held on Thursday in Geneva where the U.N. Human Rights Council is in session.
Media reports say that for its amendments to be accepted, India would need the support of 24 out of 47 member countries, which is unlikely.
The issue of Sri Lankan war crimes was re-ignited recently after photos came to light showing the alleged murder of Sri Lankan Tamil leader Velupillai Prabhakaran’s 12-year-old son.