Sri Lankan Tamils Issue: Over 500 Students Arrested for Anti-Lanka Protests in Chennai

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By sangeetha seshagiri | March 18, 2013 9:40 PM EST

Police arrested over 500 college students taking part in the anti-Lankan protests on Monday when they tried to lay siege on the Raj Bhavan.

Even as the Tamil Nadu government directed the closure of educational institutions, several students continued protest for the eighth consecutive day demanding India to move a resolution against Sri Lanka for alleged war crimes committed against its Tamil population.

Students from different regions including Coimbatore, Salem and Tirunelvel resorted to a wide range of protests from fasting to agitation to boycotting their classes. They demanded India to move amendments to a US-sponsored resolution at the UN Human Rights Council and insisted on a independent probe into the alleged war crimes against Tamil population in Sri Lanka.

"India should move amendments to strengthen the US resolution on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC," and that it must "take a historic, strong, and courageous stand on the issue," Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa today wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Tensions began to rise in Tamil Nadu a few days ago, after a private channel released pictures of the alleged killing of slain LTTE chief V Prabakaran's 12-year-old son, Balachandran.

The student protests escalated on Monday, even as the UPA government is trying to arrive at a consensus with its major ally, DMK. DMK chief Karunandhi on Sunday threatened to pull out of the UPA government if it fails to harden its stance towards Sri Lanka over its treatment against the Tamil population. Karunanidhi demanded amendments to be made and declare "genocide and war crimes had been committed and inflicted on Eelam Tamils by Sri Lankan Army and the Administrators," reported The Economic Times.

Until now, the government has remained non-committal on its stand about the Sri Lankan Tamils issue. Union ministers AK Antony, Ghulam Nabi Azad, and P Chidambaram are likely to meet the DMK chief and discuss about the issue.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka high commissioner to India Prasad Kariyawasam said that the resolution in UN Human Rights Council against Sri Lanka was "uncalled for." He said that the international community should not get involved in the country.

"First of all, resolution in UNHRC against Sri Lanka is uncalled for. That is our position, and we don't think there is need for the international community to get involved in Sri Lanka at this point, because we are doing what we have to do step by step," Kariyawasam told a TV channel. He added that any content of resolution might create ill feelings among communities in both Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka. 

Also ReadDMK Withdraws Support to UPA Over Sri Lankan Tamils Issue

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