Tamil Nadu Assembly adopts resolution on Lanka

A day after India and Sri Lanka decided to renew efforts to address the vexed ethnic issue in the island nation, Tamil Nadu today stepped up pressure on the Union government for an international probe against alleged human rights violations and war crimes committed in 2009 in Northern Sri Lanka, the Press Trust of India reported. “The Tamil Nadu Assembly requests the Government of India that if America takes a stand supportive of Sri Lanka [at the UNHRC], then India must take diplomatic efforts to change that,” the resolution, which was unanimously adopted by the House, said.Ms Jayalalithaa recalled the earlier resolutions in the Assembly seeking to stop treating Sri Lanka as a ‘friendly nation’ in the context of the alleged atrocities on ethnic Tamils.It had also demanded that India boycott a meeting of Heads of Commonwealth nations held in Sri Lanka in 2013, besides insisting that the AIADMK government would not allow Sri Lankan players and officials to participate in IPL sporting fixtures scheduled in Chennai, which was duly followed by the BCCI. The State government was referring to reports that the US, which earlier favoured international probe into alleged human rights violations and war crimes during the peak of hostilities in Sri Lanka in 2009, had altered its stand now. Earlier, Opposition parties, including DMK, welcomed the resolution. Chief Minister Jayalalithaa told the Assembly that the US now reportedly proposed internal probe by Colombo at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), and that it was “against natural justice.”The resolution moved by Ms. Jayalalithaa said that India itself should move a “strong resolution” at the UNHRC along with the US, seeking international probe against those who had committed human rights violations and war crimes in contravention to the international rules and conventions. In a resolution adopted in the Assembly, the State government sought diplomatic efforts by India to change any possible pro-Sri Lanka stand adopted by the United States in the UN rights body. “This is a timely resolution,” DMK’s senior leader Durai Murugan said. (Colombo Gazette) read more

New deal paves way home for Burundians in Rwanda – UN refugee

The agreement, signed in the Rwandan capital, Kigali, provides an official framework for a repatriation operation that started at the end of June. The operation’s sixth organized convoy left from Rwanda to Burundi on Wednesday, bringing the total number of organized returns thus far to 2,155.“The voluntary repatriation of thousands of Burundian refugees from Rwanda and Tanzania on a weekly basis is a vote of confidence given by the Burundian refugees to the positive political developments that have taken place in Burundi,” the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Representative in Kigali, Panos Moumtzis, said in a statement.Last week the UN refugee agency reported a dramatic increase in the return of Burundian refugees from Tanzania following orderly communal elections at the end of June. Those elections represented nearly the last step in a long transition to peace and democracy in this tiny Central African country that has been torn by decades of ethnic war.Earlier today Secretary-General Kofi Annan congratulated Burundi on the election of Pierre Nkurunziza as its first post-transitional President. read more