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Lankan Tamils need reassurance: Pranab

[Express Buzz, Sunday, 15 November 2009 15:30 No Comment]

Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said here on Saturday, that Sri Lankan Tamils who had come out of the conflict zone, after the defeat of the terrorists, were “traumatised” and “fearful” about their future, and that it was necessary for the Lan kan government to reassure them that their rights as equal citizens of the country would be protected and fostered.

“Thousands of Tamils have come out of the conflict zone traumatised by the conflict and harbouring deep concern and fear of what the future holds for them. These citizens need reassurance. They yearn to return to their homes and resume their livelihood,” Mukherjee said in his Lakshman Kadirgamar Memorial Lecture here.

INTER-ETHNIC RELATIONS: Without mentioning any community as such, Mukherjee urged Lankans to make use of the defeat of LTTE terrorism and secessionism to permanently change the complexion of interethnic relations for the betterment of the island nation.

“The effective elimination of terrorism and secessionism from Sri Lanka offers you an opportunity to shape history; an opportunity to permanently change the complexion of the relationship between the majority community and the minorities; an opportunity to address the legitimate grievances of all communities; and an opportunity to bring permanent peace and stability to the nation.” POLITICAL SETTLEMENT: While hailing the military victory over the LTTE, Mu kherjee said that there was another victory to be achieved, namely, victory in the political arena when every stakeholder owns the process and gains something from it.

IN CHENNAI: Meanwhile, in Chennai, Minister for Higher Education K Ponmudi received Pranab Mukherjee, who made a brief stop at the Chennai airport enroute to Colombo on Saturday. Ponmudi, who revealed that he was not carrying any message from Chief Minister M Karunanidhi to Mukherjee, said he came to receive the Minister as per protocol.

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