July 7, 2022

India urges Sri Lanka to meet the expectations of the Tamil minority

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India on Wednesday asked for Sri Lanka to fulfil the requirements and expectations of Tamil minority with the intent of greater devolution of powers which will encompass reconciliation process though it has committed further for greater cooperation which targets enhancing the nation’s post Covid-19 recovery efforts.

S Jaishankar, presently in Sri Lanka presented the expectations of the Tamil residents of the country amid a joint media interaction with Sri Lankan counterpart Dinesh Gunawardena. He reemphasized on India’s support for Sri Lanka’s reconciliation process and an inclusive political approach which boosts ethnic harmony.

Gunawardena said, “As we promote peace and well-being in the region, India has been strongly committed to the unity, stability and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka. Our support for the reconciliation process in Sri Lanka is long-standing, as indeed for an inclusive political outlook that encourages ethnic harmony.”

Jaishankar iterated on Colombo’s self developed interest to meet the expectations of the Tamil minority which is ‘equality, justice, peace and dignity within a united Sri Lanka’. He further added, “That applies equally to the commitments made by the Sri Lankan government on meaningful devolution, including the 13th amendment of the Constitution. The progress and prosperity of Sri Lanka will surely be advanced as a consequence.”

During a virtual summit in last September with Mahind Rajpaksha, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the issue about the aspirations of Sri Lankan Tamil minority which is a political matter in the state of Tamil Nadu in India.

Amid media interaction, Gunawardena noted that President Rajpaksha had given his commitment for the well-being, progress, and invoke growth opportunities for all Sri Lankan citizens, which is inclusive of Sinhalas, Tamils and Muslims.

Jaishankar mentioned about his discussion with Gunawardena which comprised of proposals for cooperation in energy, infrastructure and connectivity, and the earliest enforcement of the projects would boost the recovery of Sri Lanka from the pandemic losses. He also spoke about New Delhi eagerly anticipating the sooner return of Indian fishermen who were caught by the island’s nation authorities regarding crossing of the maritime boundary.

Gunawardena took the opportunity to express his gratitude towards India for assistance during the pandemic. “The Indian government’s ‘neighborhood first policy made a very positive impact on our health sector and the economy during the critical period [of] unprecedented crisis…”

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