Tamil Nadu Chief Minister discusses Sri Lanka issues with Indian PM

June 14, New Delhi: Jeyaram Jayalalitha, Chief Minister of India’s Tamil Nadu State met Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh today in New Delhi and discussed the issues related to the plight of Sri Lankan Tamils and attacks on India fishermen allegedly by Sri Lankan security forces.

The AIADMK leader, who was recently elected to the Tamil Nadu State Assembly, has called for the central government to intervene to assure proper rehabilitation of Tamils in Sri Lanka and resolve the ethnic issue.

Addressing the media following her meeting with the PM, the Chief Minister said she had discussed the issue of Sri Lankan Tamils at length with the PM and said the Tamils in Sri Lanka should be allowed to live dignified lives as same as the Sinhalese.

“I have stressed that what the Sri Lankan Tamils want and what we Tamilians want is to see that the Sri Lankan Tamils who are still in camps are allowed to return where they lived earlier,” Jayalalitha was quoted in Indian media.

“And they are allowed to lead lives of dignity with equal rights on par with the Sinhalese,” she has said.

The Chief Minister said a delegation of Tamil Nadu legislators should be permitted to visit Sri Lanka to get a firsthand look on the condition of Tamils still living in refugee camps after the end of the war two years ago.

The Chief Minister-led Tamil Nadu State Assembly unanimously passed a resolution last week calling the Central government to impose economic sanctions against Sri Lanka until the Tamils are given equal rights and bring war crimes charges against those responsible.

She has also raised the issue of Indian fishermen with the PM, she said, and informed the PM that they were harassed and tortured by Sri Lankan security forces.

Jayalalitha has told the media that the Indian PM had asked Sri Lanka to stop such ill treatment.

She has told Singh that she had gone to the Supreme Court challenging the 1974 decision to cede Kachchativu Island to Sri Lanka without the concurrence of the Indian parliament.

“All efforts will be allowed to see that our fishermen are allowed to fish around Kachchativu,” she has said.

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