Home » News

India will work with TNA: PM

[Express Buzz, Sunday, 11 July 2010 13:51 No Comment]

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has told a delegation of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) that India has decided to work with it to find solutions to the short term and long term problems faced by the Tamils of the island nation.

This was revealed by TNA MP, M.A.Sumanthiran, who was a member of the delegation which met the Indian PM in New Delhi on Thursday.

Sumanthiran told the Express that Singh went on to ask the TNA to work with other Tamil parties so that a joint Tamil view could be presented to the Sri Lankan government on various issues.

Singh’s request is significant in the light of the fact that only recently, about a dozen Tamil parties and NGOs had met in Colombo to begin working out a Common Minimum Programme on issues facing the Tamils. The TNA had kept out of the venture thinking that these parties were basically out to undermine its position in the Tamil-speaking Northern and Eastern provinces where it had emerged as the single largest party in the last parliamentary elections with 14 MPs.    

Responding to Singh’s plea for unity, the leader of the TNA, R.Sampanthan, said that his outfit would certainly cooperate with other Tamil parties so long as such cooperation did not violate the trust which the people of the Northern and Eastern provinces had vested in it.

The TNA asked the PM to put pressure on the Sri Lankan government to find a political  solution to the Tamil question within a specific time frame; to see that the High Security Zones were dismantled; and to ensure that the ethno-demographic character of the Northern and Eastern provinces was not changed through government-sponsored colonisation of Sinhalese.

Asked if the delegation gave the Indian PM any details to substantiate the claim that the Sri Lankan government had schemes to change the ethno-demographic character of the North and East, Sumanthiran said that the details had already been given to the Indian authorities.

The Prime Minister did not directly address this issue, but he assured that India would endeavour to see that the Tamils lived in safety and security and that their political aspirations were met.

Singh requested the TNA to keep having talks with the government of Sri Lanka on these issues in a constructive way. The delegation said that they were indeed engaging the government and were eager to continue the process.

The delegation wanted the Tamil-speaking Northern and Eastern provinces to be re-united to be a Tamil Homeland, as per the India-Sri Lanka Accord of 1987. The unification had been annuled by a court order in 2006.

Sumanthiran said that the TNA thanked India for undertaking some vital developmental projects in the North, especially the building of 50,000 houses for the war-affected Tamil civilians in the Wanni.

[Full Coverage]

(For updates you can share with your friends, follow TNN on Facebook, Twitter and Google+)

Comments are closed.