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India wants equal rights and equl status for Sri Lankan Tamils says Sonia Gandhi in Chennai

by G.Sathyamoorthi

Chennai: India is pressing Sri Lanka to amend the Constitution to “guarantee and ensure equal rights and equal status” to Sri Lankan Tamils, Congress president and United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi said here on Tuesday.

Significant progress

“In our neighbourhood, there is no issue closer to our heart than the rights of the Sri Lankan Tamil people. There has been significant progress last year and India had committed and provided large sums of money for the relief and rehabilitation of the affected people. We will do everything in our power to rehabilitate them,” she said, addressing an election rally on Island Ground along with Dravida Munetra Kazhagam president and Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi.

She said the Union government was spending substantial amount on rehabilitation of Sri Lankan Tamils and “we will continue our efforts at rehabilitation” [of the Tamils displaced in the war between the Sri Lankan Army and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam].

She also spoke of the firing on Tamil fishermen in the international waters which claimed a few lives.

“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 said.

Nationalisation of rivers

Mr. Karunanidhi, who utilised this opportunity to seek the support of the Centre on various issues pertaining to Tamil Nadu, pleaded for the nationalisation of rivers, as that alone could be a “long-term solution” to disputes over sharing river water.

“As the first phase, steps should be taken to link all the rivers in the south and funds for the same should be provided to State governments”, he added. ~ courtesy: The Hindu ~


May I remind her that Tamils in Sri Lanka have more rights than the Tamils in India. Please see below.

• Tamil together with Sinhalese is a national language in Sri Lanka while Tamil is only a regional language in India
• All school children in Sri Lanka learn Tamil and Sinhalese
• Unlike India, Tamils in Sri Lanka enjoy free education and health
• To enter the Sri Lankan civil service all applicants must have at least a working knowledge of Tamil, while in India one has to be proficient in Hindi
• Even after the disastrous war with the LTTE Sri Lankan Tamils enjoy a higher standard of living than those in India
• In India most of the Tamils live in Tamil Nadu, unlike Sri Lanka where 53 percent of Tamils live outside the north and the east of Sri Lanka and all Tamils are integrated into the social and political aspects of Sri Lanka.

Posted by: Merlin Van Tweest | April 6, 2011 06:18 AM

Mrs Sonia Ghandhi must read the news below first before opens her mouth to ask for the impossible. Can she repeat a Rajiv act of aircraft drops in SL or NATO US action on Libya?

3 chapters on Rajapaksa in Sri Lanka''s new Mahavasma - - MSN India / the

Colombo, Apr 6 (PTI) A new volume, with three chapters dedicated to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, will be added to the Mahavamsa -- a historical poem written in Pali language describing reigns of Sri Lankan rulers, Cultural Affairs ministry said today.

The Mahavamsa or The Great Chronicle describes the Sri Lankan history from the coming of Vijaya in 543 BC to the reign of King Mahasena (6th Century BC to 4th Century AD). A companion volume, the Culavamsa or Choolavansha ("lesser chronicle"), covers the period from the 4th century to the British takeover of Sri Lanka in 1815.

"A panel of eminent writers have begun the work on the sixth volume. This will cover the period between 1978 and 2010," Wimal Rubasinghe, the secretary to the ministry, said.

The ministry has decided to dedicated three chapters to Rajapaksa as opposed to his predecessors whose periods will be limited to two chapters or less.

"Rajapaksa''s achievement in ending the Island''s 30-year separatist war has no parallels in the chronicle," the official said.

Posted by: Kirthi Sri.Rajasinghe | April 6, 2011 11:10 AM

Mrs G has to say something to prop up her allies in Tamil Nadu where both the ruling party and the Opposition have become supporters of the separatist lobby of the LTTE.

I met a few Americans who have come to Srilanka for a holiday via Chennai.

From their account Chennai is well behind the eight ball when it comes to the standard of living between Naduans and Srilankans.

Colombo has changed so much since the LTTE sent their Air force and I was amazed how clean neat and sophisticated Colombo has become in a short period.

Nugegoda my old home base is a bustling city with no pavement hawkers who used to choke the streets.

After the banishment of the rotten and corrupt CMC run by the UNP and their rich mates, Colombo is propelling forward to become one of the best in the region.

Galle Face Green is full of Tamils and Muslims relaxing and enjoying the beauty, serenity and best of all the new found freedom of free movement and association.

Mrs G may be better off to push the Tamil Nadu to lift their own stock, and leave the Srilankans alone to look after themselves, whether they are Tamils, Sinhalese or others.

Posted by: Kalu Albert | April 10, 2011 07:31 AM

I mean its all good for Gandhi to tell that Tamils need equal rights. After all it is true that Tamils are discriminated against, we do have ethnic problems, Tamils were badly treated by the army and the security forces, many Tamil civilians were massacred during the last stages of the war. However it is hypocritical for the Indian president to talk to Sri Lanka about equal rights Firstly given that India has a brutal caste system in which untouchables are treated almost as badly as slaves. Secondly because India is a more underdeveloped country than Sri Lanka is: i.e literacy, life expectancy and per capita income is lower in India. In the HDI tables India ranks below Sri Lanka.

Posted by: ABCD | April 13, 2011 07:52 AM

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