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India reaches out to Tamil leaders

world Updated: Nov 14, 2013 23:32 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Tamil National Alliance

Addressing the domestic politician constituency back home, India reached out to the leaders of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) here on Thursday, assuring them support for their demands of living a life “with dignity and respect.”

The TNA came to power in the recently held elections in the Tamil-dominated Northern province. The delegation that held meeting with foreign secretary Sujatha Singh was led veteran Tamil politician R Sambanthan, and comprised two party MPs — M A Sumanthiran and Suresh Premachandran.

Describing Sambanthan “a pleasant personality and man of great vision”, foreign secretary said the meeting was part of the process of continuing interaction with the Tamil leaders.

“India has played a role with regards to the situation in Sri Lanka from 1983 (after the infamous Wellikade jail massacre) and in the past few years India has been very active with regard to ensuring that the Tamil people in the country live with dignity and in fulfilling the legitimate aspirations of the people of North and Eastern provinces where the Tamil people are in a majority,” Sambanthan said.

Sambanthan said several recommendations of the Commission were referred to the Human Rights Commission in 2010 and 2013.

Foreign secretary also visited the foreign office to discuss the bilateral issues and took up the cause of 77 Indian fishermen languishing in the jails.

Efforts are on to hold a meeting of the fishermen associations from both countries to discuss the issue. She said Tamil Nadu government has been approached for the same and still waiting for the reply to finalise the meeting. The meeting is slated to be held in Tamil Nadu.