Sri Lankan 'war criminals' should be tried: Jayalalithaa

Indo Asian News Service

Chennai, Feb 20 (IANS) Comparing the Sri Lankan regime with Hilter's, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa Wednesday demanded that those who committed "war crimes" in the island nation be tried in an international court.

The chief minister described as "a war crime" the alleged cold-blooded killing Balachandran Prabhakaran, the 12-year-old son of the late Tamil Tigers' chief Velupillai Prabhakaran.

"He was only 12 years. He was only a child. He did not commit any crime. As he was the son of Prabhakaran, the Sri Lankan army killed him," she told the media here.

Jayalalithaa spoke a day after a section the media carried photographs of the innocent looking Balachandran seated in a Sri Lankan military bunker just before he was killed allegedly at close range.

The pictures are part of a film, "No Fire Zone", which seeks to document the widespread rights abuses during the final phase of Sri Lanka's war when the military crushed the Tamil Tigers in May 2009.

Sri Lanka has denied that Prabhakaran's son was killed in cold blood, and maintained that he died in crossfire with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

Jayalalithaa said Colombo was treating Tamils in Sri Lanka the way the Nazis treated Jews.

"The killing of Balachandran is a war crime," she said, and urged India to work with the US to pass a resolution in the UN denouncing rights violations in Sri Lanka.

She said the young boy's killing was "unforgivable".

"I call upon the Indian government to hold discussions with the US and other like-minded nations and prepare a resolution to be passed by the UN (against Sri Lanka)," she said.

She added that in line with a resolution passed by the Tamil Nadu assembly, India should impose an economic embargo on Sri Lanka "with the cooperation of other countries".

The embargo should remain in place "until the Tamils who have been displaced there and confined in camps (after the conflict) are allowed to return to their homes and live with equal rights on par with" members of the majority Sinhalese community and "live a life of dignity".