Who will espouse Tamil concerns to Delhi?: paper questions

[TamilNet, Sunday, 07 November 2004, 13:18 GMT]
Stating that, "Although India has unambiguously said that she will not become directly involved in Sri Lankan peace process, yet, the two main southern political camps as well as the Norwegian facilitators have never failed to brief Delhi on the status of the issue, and even Japanese Special Envoy Yasushi Akashi who was in Sri Lanka last week also flew direct to Delhi," the editorial in Tamil daily Thinakkural Sunday, urged the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarians to take immediate steps to meet with India's leaders to convince them of the legitimacy of the Tamil cause.

Describing Sri Lanka's President Chandrika Kumaratunga's 5-day visit to India for discussions with the Indian leaders in detail the editorial said, "Ms Kumaratunge after her meeting with the Indian Premier Dr Manmohan Singh, revealed to the media that Dr Singh had assured her of India's continued suppport to the Sri Lanka peace effort. She further stated that bilateral relations are at a high point. She also mentoned that Dr Singh had pledged India's full support to a settlement of the issue within a united Sri Lanka and also wished the peace efforts all success."

The paper said, "Kumaratunga's approach from the outset has been to deal with the LTTE from a position of strength and for that she has to wait until a situation favourable to the Govt. emerges. This strategy employed by Kumaratunga in dealing with the LTTE is the same as was seen during her first term of office via the "war for peace." But Kumaratunga keeps telling the world that while she has shown considerable flexibility in her approach, the LTTE is rigid in their stand."

The editorial said that if the international community believes that the Sri Lankan conflict cannot be resolved without India's co-operation, then it is imperative that both sides to the conflict have the opportunity to articulate their positions to the Indian Leaders. Although Government of Sri Lanka is clearly doing so, the LTTE is unable to access the Indian leaders. Since the politics is centred around the struggle waged by the LTTE, whose responsibility is it today to explain the legitimate aspirations of the Tamils to the Indian leadership?, the editorial asked.

The paper said that "It is undoubtedly the responsibiity of the 22 TNA MPs who were victorious in the last general elections with the overwhelming support of the LTTE, to seek access to Indian Leadership" and questioned why the TNA MPs haven't come forward so far to undertake that inescapable task.

"Today we find anti-peace groups congregating in Delhi to state their views. And so, in our deep concern for peace, we urge the TNA parliamentarians who are tasked to champion the rights of the Tamils to take immediate steps to meet with the leadership of the Dr Singh's Government to convince the latter of the legitimacy of the Tamil cause," the editorial said.


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