Ensure Justice for Tamil Minority, Modi Tells Lanka
By P K Balachandran | Published: 24th August 2014 06:00 AM |
COLOMBO: Prime Minister Narendra Modi told leaders of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) in New Delhi on Saturday, that he had asked Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to talk to the TNA to find a lasting political solution to the Tamil question and address other issues faced by the people of the Tamil majority Northern Province.
“The Prime Minister told us he had spoken about this to Rajapaksa when the latter had come to Delhi for his swearing-in ceremony. He went on to say that he was continually engaged with the Lankan government on this matter,” said TNA delegate M A Sumanthiran, briefing Express over phone from New Delhi.
“He called for government-TNA talks and said he wants the government to talk to the TNA,” Sumanthiran said.
While the TNA wants resumption of bilateral talks with the government, the government wants the TNA to participate in the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC). The TNA has rejected the PSC because Tamils will be a minority there.
“In the discussion, which lasted more than an hour, Modi said he was concerned over the situation in the Northern Province and that he would do what he could to improve the conditions there,” Sumanthiran said. Modi told the TNA that India stands for devolution of power to the Tamils “on the basis of the 13th Amendment.”
A press release issued by the PMO said Modi “urged all stakeholders in Sri Lanka to engage constructively, in a spirit of partnership and mutual accommodation, towards finding a political solution that builds upon the 13th Amendment of the Sri Lankan Constitution”.
Modi also repeated India’s position that the political solution should address “the aspirations of the Tamil community for equality, dignity, justice and self-respect within the framework of a united Sri Lanka”.