Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi has suggested sending an Indian envoy to Sri Lanka to assess the progress on rehabilitation of Tamils living in refugee camps in the island nation.
In his letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh dated July 17, Karunanidhi said: "I would like to suggest that Government of India, through diplomatic sources or by sending a special envoy, may assess the real situation in the affected areas and the progress of rehabilitation measures so far undertaken by the Sri Lankan government...."
He said that India may also try to get information on "the time-frame for completing the process of resettlement to the satisfaction of the affected persons. This will enable us to plan the future course of action with a view to ensure peaceful and rightful livelihood of the displaced Tamils".
On July 9, Singh in his letter to Karunanidhi had invited his views and advice "on ways forward towards the process of genuine reconciliation to resolve the ethnic issue in Sri Lanka once and for all through political agreement that we have consistently advocated".
Pointing out that the DMK has been advocating the cause of the Sri Lankan Tamils right from the year 1956, Karunanidhi's letter notes that the issue needs short and long term solutions.
The letter cites the denial of permission to Lankan Tamils to return to their native places even though a year has passed since the internal strife ended.
"Though the Government of India have sanctioned a financial assistance of Rs.500 crore for the purpose of rehabilitation long back, it is sad that the rehabilitation measures have not progressed at the expected level," he said.
"Consequently, the displaced people continue to undergo the ordeal of camp life," the letter noted.