Sri Lankan Tamils issue: Cong decries 'maligning' of PM by pro-Tamil groups

Manmohan Singh

Congress today decried "maligning" of the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and party-led UPA government by pro-Tamil groups in the state over the Sri Lankan Tamils issue and expressed confidence that India would vote in favour of the US-backed resolution against Lanka in the UNHRC.

Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC) president B S Gnanadesikan, MP, said demands like New Delhi slapping economic sanctions on Colombo would only hurt Tamils and many rehabilitation measures undertaken for them by India, including housing projects, would suffer.

India is the only voice for minority Tamils in that country and they would be at peril if bilateral relations were severed, he said in a party statement here.

Gnanadesikan said "our action" should not affect Tamils and urged students to withdraw their protests, including hunger strike, over the issue.

"I believe India will support the US-sponsored resolution like it did last time. That is the stand of TNCC," he said, adding the Congress governments led by late Prime Ministers Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi had always stood by Tamils.

He said a civilised society cannot accept the manner in which Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was being "maligned" in the state, apparently referring to political attacks against him and the burning of his effigies by student protesters.

Ruling out India initiating a referendum for Tamil Ealam (separate homeland), he said it cannot be done by India alone and that it involves the internal affairs of another country.

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