Local advocate and peace activist Subhash Chand Jaiswal was part of a 10-member delegation that toured Sri Lanka from December 22 to December 29.
Social outfits 'Building Peace Bridges' and 'Yuva Satta' of Chandigarh had jointly organised the tour. Talking to the Hindustan Times here, Jaiswal said at the Colombo airport, the delegation was received by Sri Lanka Freedom Party Women Organisation vice-president Chandrika De Zoysa. The visitors were taken to the Sri Lankan parliament, which, he claimed, is housed in a magnificent building.
Jaiswal said the delegation had an interactive session with Sarvodaya Shramadana movement president AT Ariyaratne where it was emphasised that both the countries should resolve outstanding issues amicably and both have common cultural heritage and were affected by the European cultural invasion.
He added that MP and deputy speaker Chandima Weerakkody maintained that India being a large country should lead the SAARC movement and the hostilities amongst the member nations were not good for the region.
The deputy speaker wondered that when 36 European countries can have a common visa and currency regime why the nine South Asian countries cannot have a similar arrangement for greater public mobility?
During the interaction, Jaiswal said the deputy speaker had observed that the Indian Prime Minister should have attended the CHOGM meet held in November last year and it was an opportunity for him to put before the international community the Indian perspective on the Tamil problem.
He pointed out that thousands of lives were lost during the 26-year ethnic violence and thousands of Tamil women were widowed and children orphaned. Thousands of petitions from Tamilians to reclaim land and houses were pending in the courts there while lakhs of people have fled, he added.
Jaiswal said 85% Sri Lankan population was Buddhist and remaining 15% profess Hinduism. Other members of the delegation were Anjana Pidikiti and P Murtuthi (Tamil Nadu,) Ajatshatru (Gurgaon), Bhaskar Shahadev Pere, Harishchandra Raoshaheb Matkar (Aurangabad), Chanchal Manohar Singh, Parmod Sharma, Pooja Sharma and Sharda Rana (Chandigarh).