A five-member team of MPs from the Tamil National Alliance will leave Colombo for Delhi on October 10 at the invitation of the Indian government to hold talks with the Prime Minister and officials concerned on steps to break the stalemate in the talks between the TNA and the Rajapaksa government.
The team led by veteran R. Sampanthan will spend two days in the Indian capital and hopes to get a commitment that Delhi would step up pressure on the Lankan government to deliver on the promised rehabilitation of the war-displaced Tamils and on the larger canvas, a political resolution of the decades-old ethnic conflict arising out of racial discrimination. “We are going to Delhi with lot of hope.
There are several difficult problems for us Tamils in Lanka”, senior TNA MP Selvam Adaikalanathan told DC.
President Rajapaksa during his recent trip to Delhi had asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to impress upon the TNA that it must participate in the reconciliation process through the Parliamentary Select Committee.
Since the committee would have representatives from all the parties in the Parliament, it would be easier for it to formulate a reconciliation package and even get the Constitution amended if needed, Rajapaksa had told Singh.
The TNA has been keeping off the committee for fear that the majority Sinhala members would try to dominate the proceedings and there would be no positive outcome.
It would be better for the TNA to first discuss the Tamil stand with the government and thereafter the Parliament committee could fine tune the political document of reconciliation, the TNA has been saying. It was believed that the TNA had India’s support in this stand.
However, Rajapaksa’s meeting in Delhi appears to have changed the Indian thinking and invitations were sent out to the TNA.
Also, it was said that at his meeting with PM Singh, the Lankan President was able to extract an assurance that India would support Colombo at the upcoming Universal Periodical Review (UPR) on human rights happening at Geneva on November 1.
Pm: tamils’ safety is india’s priority
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said that his government attaches highest priority to the resettlement and rehabilitation of Tamil community in Sri Lanka.
Responding to DMK president M. Karunanidhi’s letter dated August 20 on the Sri Lankan Tamil issue, Mr Singh said that since the end of the conflict in the island nation, the focus of the Indian government had been on the welfare and well-being of Tamil citizens of Sri Lanka.
“Their resettlement and rehabilitation have been of the highest and most important priority for our government,” Singh said in his recent letter released to the media on Tuesday.
India has also conveyed to the Sri Lankan government the need for taking forward the dialogue with the political representatives of the Sri Lankan Tamils on devolution of power, PM told Karunanidhi, whose party is a key ally of the UPA.