India says it will continue to press Sri Lanka for Tamil rights

Apr 05, Chennai: India says it would continue to press Sri Lankan government for constitutional amendments to ensure equal rights and status to ethnic minorities in the Sri Lanka.

Asserting India’s support for the Sri Lankan Tamils, Congress president and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi has made these remarks to DMK President and Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu M. Karunanidhi at a joint election rally in Chennai on Tuesday.

“In our neighbourhood, there is no issue closer to our heart than the Sri Lankan Tamils’ issue. There was significant progress last year and India had committed and provided large sums of money for their rehabilitation,” Ms. Gandhi was quoted as saying by Indian Media.

Ms. Gandhi is in her first campaign meeting to show support the Congress ally DMK party leader Karunanidhi for the April 13 Assembly polls.

“India will continue to do whatever it could for rehabilitation of Tamils displaced in the war against LTTE,” Ms. Gandhi has said.

“We are pressing the Government of Sri Lanka to make changes (in the Constitution) to ensure equal rights and status to Tamils,” she has added.

Sri Lanka’s issue of ethnic Tamils is a hot topic in Indian politics, especially during assembly polls in Tamil Nadu.

Commenting on attacks on Indian fishermen allegedly by the Sri Lankan Navy in Palk Straits, Ms. Gandhi said Colombo had assured that the incidents would not recur.

“We are deeply pained that some lives of fishermen have been lost. We have been assured that there would be no firing in the future and we will continue to work to ensure this commitment is met,” she has said.

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