Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking his intervention in the denial of visas to the United Nations Investigation Committee, which is conducting the inquiry into war crimes in Sri Lanka towards the end of war.
She claimed that the people of Tamil Nadu would face strong disappointment if the denial of visas is not overturned. “Given that India is geographically Sri Lanka’s closest neighbour and a number of SL Tamil refugees are still residing in Tamil Nadu, India is definitely a place that any team probing human rights violations in Sri Lanka should visit to conduct its inquiries. Hence, I request you to kindly intervene in the issue and ensure that the international committee is granted the necessary visas and is in a position to complete a fair and impartial enquiry into the human rights violations in Sri Lanka,” read Jayalalithaa’s letter to Modi, dated July 23.
“I am surprised to see media reports which indicate that India has refused visas to the United Nations Investigation Committee which has been formed to conduct the investigation. If the media reports are true and India has actually refused visas to the United Nations committee probing the human rights violations in Sri Lanka, this would be a bitter disappointment to the people of Tamil Nadu who are determined to ensure that the Sri Lankan regime is held to account for its heinous acts against Tamils,” she added.
Jayalalithaa also stated that she had written to former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh a number of times with regard to the issue, but that no strong action had been taken despite four resolutions of the Tamil Nadu Assembly against the continuing discrimination against Tamils in Sri Lanka. She also expressed outrage over the fact that India had abstained from a vote against Sri Lanka at the United Nations Human Rights Council in the run-up to the LS polls, despite her repeated pressure on the matter. She also noted that she had raised the issue in the memorandum she had presented to Modi, when she met him in New Delhi on June 3.