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Friday, April 27, 2012 - 8.18 GMT
Tamil leaders for a solution within a united Sri Lanka - Deccan Herald Editorial

 

Elected representatives of the Sri Lankan Tamils are now in favour of a political solution within a united Sri Lanka, said the Deccan Herald editorial on April 25. Tamil Nadu parties should be strengthening their efforts, instead of echoing calls being made by those from the comfort of their western homes, it added.

The approach of Tamil Naduís parties is in fact empowering the islandís Sinhala nationalist hardliners.

The editorial further said that the visit by the Indian delegation to Sri Lanka was an opportunity to build bilateral bridges.

The decision of the DMK, AIADMK, MDMK and VCK to boycott the visit was unfortunate. Here was an opportunity for their MPs to see for themselves the ground situation in the island, to interact directly with the Tamil people, their elected representatives and the Lankan leadership. It is regrettable that they threw away this chance, said the Deccan Herald editorial.

Some of these parties are calling for a referendum towards partitioning the island, a demand being articulated by the Tamil diaspora. Had the Tamil Nadu parties gone to Sri Lanka they would have realized that the diaspora demand doesnít reflect the mood on the ground, it added.

Full text of the editorial:

Bridge building

A delegation of Indian parliamentarians to Sri Lanka led by leader of the opposition Sushma Swaraj has pressed the point to the Sri Lankan government the need to devolve Ďmeaningful powerí to the islandís Tamils.

It also stressed the importance of implementing the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission. These two steps are widely regarded as essential for the resolution of Sri Lankaís decades-long ethnic conflict.

Even as the delegation expressed concern over militarization of the north, it did recognize the strides made by the government in rehabilitation of the displaced. Indeed, physical infrastructure in the war-torn north is said to have improved remarkably.

However, infrastructure development will not by itself address the ethnic conflict. This is why the Indian delegation has emphasized the need for president Mahinda Rajapaksa to find a political solution.

The visit by the delegation was not only an opportunity for India to nudge Sri Lanka towards the quest for a political settlement but also it would have provided our parliamentarians with insights into the complexity of the challenges post-war Sri Lanka confronts. Importantly, this was an opportunity to build bilateral bridges.

Relations between the two neighbours have been mired in misunderstanding since India voted in favour of an anti-Sri Lanka resolution at the UNHRC in Geneva. The delegationís interaction with the Lankan political leadership has hopefully served to smooth ruffled feathers.

The decision of the DMK, AIADMK, MDMK and VCK to boycott the visit was unfortunate. Here was an opportunity for their MPs to see for themselves the ground situation in the island, to interact directly with the Tamil people, their elected representatives and the Lankan leadership. It is regrettable that they threw away this chance.

Some of these parties are calling for a referendum towards partitioning the island, a demand being articulated by the Tamil diaspora. Had the Tamil Nadu parties gone to Sri Lanka they would have realized that the diaspora demand doesnít reflect the mood on the ground.

Elected representatives of the Sri Lankan Tamils are now in favour of a political solution within a united Sri Lanka. Tamil Nadu parties should be strengthening their efforts, instead of echoing calls being made by those from the comfort of their western homes.

The approach of Tamil Naduís parties is in fact empowering the islandís Sinhala nationalist hardliners.




 

 
 
   
   
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Last modified: April 27, 2012.

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