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Lankan Tamil party submits memo to India

TNA has asked India to stop the Lanka from de-internationalising the Tamil question, reports PK Balachandran.

india Updated: Sep 29, 2006 18:30 IST

The pro-LTTE Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has asked India to stop the Sri Lankan government from de-internationalising the Tamil question.

In a letter to the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh dated September 19, the TNA MP, R Sampanthan, alleged that the Sri Lankan government planned to progressively isolate the international community; diminish its involvement in the resolution of the Tamil question; prevent it from curbing Human Rights abuses; and ensure its eventual withdrawal from the issue.

Sampanthan said that Colombo's basic idea in trying to oust the international community was to "unleash unfettered genocidal attacks against the Tamil people."

Sampanthan's letter was in fact a six-page memorandum which was handed over to the Indian Foreign Secretary-designate, Shivshankar Menon, at the end of a visit to New Delhi by a five-member delegation of TNA MPs.  

Bid to de-internationalise reflected in curbs on INGOs

The TNA's memorandum saw the beginnings of de-internationalisation in the way the government was treating the International Non-Government Organisations (INGOs), which were playing a critical role in the relief and rehabilitation work in the war-ravaged and Tamil-speaking North Eastern Province.

"International Non-Government Organisations have been prevented by the Sri Lankan Armed Forces from taking relief to the affected Tamil people in the North-Eastern region," the memorandum, pointed out.

"In some instances, the workers and vehicles of such organisations have come under attack."

"The attacks on International-Non Government Organisations and denying them the freedom of movement in the North-East to provide relief to the affected Tamil people is aimed at depriving the Tamil people of much needed humanitarian assistance and thereby compelling them to flee the country."

"The Government's objective is also to compel the International-Non-Governmental Organisations to leave which will render the affected Tamil people destitute and compel them to leave the country."

"It is reported that some International organisations unable to tolerate the harassment of the Armed Forces are already contemplating leaving the country," the memorandum said.

Appeal for direct Indian aid

Expressing lack of faith in the fairness of the Sri Lankan government agencies in the distribution relief and other aid from foreign countries, the TNA memorandum asked India to distribute its aid directly to the people of the North-East.

"We earnestly request that India provide all affected people with all necessary humanitarian relief. Such relief should be channelled so as to ensure that the victims are direct recipients.

Our past experiences compels us to state that we cannot repose our faith in the Sri Lankan State," the memorandum said.

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