NEW DELHI: In what could be seen as a bid to woo Tamil voters ahead of the 2024 LS elections, BJP national president JP Nadda on Saturday released a stamp commemorating 200 years of Indian-origin Tamils living in Sri Lanka now.
Nadda, speaking at the BJP central office-based function, said, “This is truly a historic occasion when we remember the extreme hardships endured by the people belonging to the Madras Presidency who were taken to erstwhile Ceylon by the British and their long struggle to gain dignity and recognition.”
Nadda, reiterating the Modi government’s commitment, further said that the government as well as the BJP is deeply committed to the welfare and prosperity of Indian-origin Tamils in Lanka.
“We have been working relentlessly to provide them with housing, healthcare, and other basic necessities, ensuring their ease of living,” he said, adding that Narendra Modi visited Jaffna in Sri Lanka after becoming Prime Minister in 2014 and promised pucca houses for Indian-origin Tamils.
“That’s when our people got the opportunity to live a life with dignity in Sri Lanka,” he said, adding that the PM during his visit to Jaffna in 2017 promised 14,000 pucca houses for India-origin Tamils in Sri Lanka and fulfilled it to a great extent.
Quoting various references, Nadda said that the Britishers made them (Tamils in Sri Lanka now) migrate to Sri Lanka after they started economic activities there and wanted them to work in many fields. Nadda assured that the BJP-led government under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi is truly concerned with the welfare of Tamils in Sri Lanka and acknowledges their contributions made in infrastructural development in Sri Lanka.
Present at the function, Senthil Thondaman, governor of Eastern Province (Sri Lanka), as a special guest, also lauded PM’s concerns shown for Tamils in Sri Lanka “I thank PM Modi for his support in rebuilding Sri Lanka during an economic crisis and taking care of Indian-origin Tamils. The Indian-origin Tamils in Sri Lanka are the third-largest ethnic group,” Nadda said.
The stamp was released with the aim of recognizing the contributions of Indian-origin Tamils in Sri Lanka in promoting the plantation industry, basically on the island of Sri Lanka. According to a conservative estimate, the majority of Indian-origin Tamils live in the Northern and Eastern provinces of Sri Lanka, speaking Tamil as their native language.
‘200 YEARS OF INDIAN-ORIGIN LANKANS’
The stamp was released with the aim of recognizing the contributions of Indian-origin Tamils in Sri Lanka in promoting the plantation industry, basically on the island of Sri Lanka According to a conservative estimate, the majority of Indian-origin Tamils live in the Northern and Eastern provinces of Sri Lanka, speaking Tamil as their native language.