July 24, Chennai: The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu State in India, J. Jayalalithaa today urged the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to grant visa to the United Nations team conducting the probe into Sri Lanka's alleged war crimes.
In a letter to Modi, Jayalalithaa said she was surprised by the reports media reports which indicated that India has refused visas to the UN committee appointed by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay to investigate the alleged human right violations by the both sides of Sri Lanka's armed conflict.
India and four other South Asian countries - Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan and the Maldives - have united in expressing objection to the UN probe mandated by a resolution adopted at the 25th session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva in March 2014.
Jayalalithaa said if India has actually refused visas to the UN team, it would be a bitter disappointment to the Tamil Nadu people who are determined to ensure that the Sri Lankan regime is held to account for its "heinous acts against Tamils".
"Given that India is geographically Sri Lanka's closest neighbour and a number of Sri Lankan 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," the Chief Minister reasoned.
The Tamil Nadu CM urged the Indian Prime Minister to 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.
"This would go a long way in assuaging the strong sentiments prevailing amongst all sections of Society and the polity in Tamil Nadu," the CM said.
Earlier this month India reiterated that it is against sending the UN team to Sri Lanka to probe human rights violations allegedly committed by the Sri Lankan security forces during the decades-long war.
India's External Affairs Ministry, recalling that India abstained on the Resolution and also voted against the specific paragraph that wanted to send a team to the island, has said that the international bodies need to address human rights through a cooperative framework, not a punitive approach.
Reportedly, the committee appointed by Navi Pillay will initiate its investigations from three different locations worldwide. Centers established in New York, Bangkok and Geneva will initiate the investigations connecting via Skype, and Satellite.