Sonia Gandhi demands independent inquiry into rights abuse in Sri Lanka
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Congress President Sonia Gandhi today demanded an "independent and credible" inquiry into the violation of human rights in Sri Lanka even as she refused to comment on key UPA ally DMK withdrawing support to the government at the Centre.
Voicing her pain and anguish over the "denial of legitimate political rights" to Sri Lankan Tamils, Gandhi dwelt at length on the issue at the Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP) meeting here.
Gandhi's remarks on the Sri Lankan Tamils issue came ahead of DMK's announcement withdrawing support to UPA.
"I have nothing to say now", Gandhi said when later asked about the pull out by DMK.
"The plight of Tamils in Sri Lanka is close to our hearts. Our support for equal rights and equal protection of the laws to them has been unwavering since the days of Indiraji and Rajivji.
"We are most pained at the manner in which their legitimate political rights continue to be denied to them. We are anguished by reports of unspeakable atrocities on innocent civilians and children, especially during the last days of the conflict in 2009," she said in her four-page speech.
The Congress President also spoke on the political challenges before the party ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and impending Assembly polls this year in a number of states besides underlining the need to focus on gender issues including passage of the anti-rape Bill and measures like Lokpal for fighting corruption.
Maintaining that reports of atrocities in Sri Lanka cannot go un-investigated, Gandhi said, "That is why we demand for an independent and credible inquiry into the violation of human rights in Sri Lanka."
She also said the plight of Indian fishermen, who are being detained or fired upon by the Sri Lankan navy is a matter of great concern. "A permanent solution to the daily violence against them is also imperative," Gandhi said.
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