CHENNAI: Sri Lankan parliamentarians from the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) on Wednesday indicated that the party had reposed its faith in Prime Minister Narendra Modi to solve the problems of the ethnic Tamils in the island nation.
A six-member TNA delegation which had met Modi in the national capital on August 23 and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and former PM Manmohan Singh on August 22, was hopeful of New Delhi taking a more pro-active stand.
Addressing the media at the State BJP headquarters here, TNA MPs R Sampanthan and M A Sumanthiran, who were part of the delegation, said the PM listened to them patiently and his genuine concern over the Tamils’ plight had filled them with hope. “The PM told us that Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa had given assurances to the Indian government on the Tamils’ issue and was asked to implement them,” the MPs said.
The duo, however, alleged that President Rajapaksa was not interested in solving the Lankan Tamil issue and was bent on destabilising the Northern Province government led by C V Vigneswaran. “Hence, India must pressure on Colombo in this regard. We want a permanent and just solution.”
Listing their demands, the MPs said the TNA wanted unification of the Northern and Eastern provinces and full implementation of the 13th Amendment to the country’s constitution. Besides the huge presence of the military, Rajapaksa government has been actively promoting colonisation in Tamil areas with Sinhalese settlements, which was destroying the historical and cultural symbols of the Tamils. “They are pulling down our temples,” they added.
Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan, State BJP president Tamilisai Soundararajan and senior party leaders were present on the occasion. Earlier, the Lankan Tamil MPs held a meeting with the state BJP leaders.