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Friday, Dec 13, 2019

Stalin ‘shocked’ with Rajapaksa’s views on political powers for Lankan Tamils

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had raised the issue of the 13th amendment to the Sri Lankan constitution with Rajapaksa during his just-concluded visit and hoped that Lanka will pursue the process of reconciliation to fulfil the aspirations of the Tamils for equality, justice, peace, and respect.

india Updated: Dec 01, 2019 22:35 IST
M Manikandan
M Manikandan
Hindustan Times, Chennai
Prime Minister Modi had raised the issue of Lankan Tamils with the Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa during his visit.
Prime Minister Modi had raised the issue of Lankan Tamils with the Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa during his visit.(Mohd Zakir/HT PHOTO)
         

DMK president M K Stalin expressed shock at Sri Lankan president’s cold response to demands for devolution of political powers to the island nation’s Tamil minority in his recent media interviews and promise to instead focus on the development of areas inhabited by them.

“Rajapaksa had said that giving political powers to Tamils is not his priority. He further stated that the majority Sinhalese are against the devolution of political powers for Tamils. The Sri Lankan president’s statement has come as a shock for me,” Stalin said in a statement.

The Dravidian leader added Rajapaksa’s statement proves “his heart and mind are not considering democracy”.

“When getting a clear mandate in Sri Lankan presidential elections, Gotabaya announced that he would act as a president for all the citizens. However, after meeting our Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he says he could not give political powers to the northern and eastern province. We are worried about the statement of Rajapaksa,” Stalin said.

Stalin said the prime minister should intervene to ensure “rights” and “dignity” for Lankan Tamils.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had raised the issue of the 13th amendment to the Sri Lankan constitution with Rajapaksa during his just-concluded visit and hoped that Lanka will pursue the process of reconciliation to fulfil the aspirations of the Tamils for equality, justice, peace, and respect.

Rajapaksa had also assured India that his government had an “inclusive viewpoint” on the issue of Lankan Tamils’ rights and development.

HT’s attempt to reach out to the Sri Lankan Deputy High Commission in Chennai for a comment weren’t successful.