CHENNAI:Vocal Lankan Tamil leader and Northern Province Councillor MK Shivajilingam on Tuesday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who will be visiting Sri Lanka in a few days, to take steps for a permanent political solution to the ethnic issue jointly facilitated, mediated, and underwritten by India, EU, US, and the UN.
The former MP also urged Modi to help provide immediate relief to the Tamils by persuading Colombo to demilitarise the North-East and return all the land forcibly taken from Tamils. Besides, Modi should help release all the Tamil political prisoners and information on all those who surrendered, imprisoned, and disappeared during the end of the war.
Welcoming Modi to Sri Lanka, Shivajilingam said, “We are hopeful that your history making visit, evoking parallels to the visit by Mahathma Gandhi to Jaffna on November 27, 1927, will further strengthen our relationships for this new century.”
Observing that the Tamil people did not believe in the 13th Amendment leading to an equitable political solution, he said Modi should initiate steps towards a lasting political solution.
“The solution, at the minimum, must be based on the Oslo Declaration where both the Tamil side and Sri Lankan side agreed on December 5, 2002 to explore political solution based on a federal structure which was welcomed by the International Community. PM Ranil Wickeramasinghe was also the Prime Minister of the government that agreed to the Oslo Declaration in Norway”, Shivajilingam added.
Stating that the Tamil people in the North-East as well as their brethren in Tamil Nadu and the Diaspora overwhelmingly support ed and called for an independent UN investigation on Lanka, Shivajilingam said and urged India to change its position of opposing the UN probe and support it as that would be the only hope of Tamils for justice, accountability and protection.
Shivajilingam also urged Modi to send Tamil speaking doctors, and English and IT teachers from Tamil Nadu to help the Tamils rebuild their livelihood. He has also sought Modi’s help in solving the issues faced by the fishermen from both India and Lanka, creating closer economic integration between Tamil Nadu and the Tamil speaking Northern and Eastern Provinces and in restoring the ferry service between Thalaimannar and Rameswaram, and also the air-link from Tamil Nadu to Palaly and Trincomalee.