Students protest in Chennai, demand probe of Sri Lanka war crimes
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As the voting date for the U.N. resolution on Sri Lanka drew near, students in Chennai staged a beach protest demanding the Indian government to take a stringent stand against the “war crimes” committed during the island nation’s civil war which ended in 2009.
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Raja’paksa is under fire from the U.N. Human Rights Council. Last year the Council adopted a United States-sponsored resolution demanding that Sri Lanka ensure government troops guilty of war crimes in the war against Tamil rebels are brought to justice.
The U.S. believes Sri Lanka has failed to do so and this March will repeat its demands in the same forum. Washington and London are trying to exert some pressure on Colombo, expressing concern over attacks on journalists, activists and lawyers.
Dozens of slogan-shouting students condemned the human rights violations against Tamils in the neighbouring island country.
One of the protesting students, Shruti urged the Indian government to declare Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa a war criminal.
“We want India to create a separate resolution not dependent on America’s resolution because I don’t think it will serve any proper justice to Sri Lankan Tamils,” she said.
The 30-year-long civil war between the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil Tiger rebels who at one time controlled large swathes of the north of the island state is estimated to have left tens of thousands of people dead or injured.
International investigators, whose findings have been rejected by the Sri Lankan authorities, have said the army committed large-scale abuses and was responsible for many civilian deaths in the final stages of the war.