Pitching for a political solution that meets aspirations of ethnic Tamils, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday that all stakeholders in Sri Lanka should engage “constructively” in a spirit of partnership and mutual accommodation within the framework of a “united Sri Lanka”.
He stated this when a delegation of Sri Lankan Tamil MPs met him and briefed him on the situation, including the alleged moves by the Sri Lankan government to change the cultural and linguistic identity of the north-eastern areas and militarization in the Tamil-majority localities.
PM assured the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) delegation of India’s continuing support for relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction works in Northern and Eastern Sri Lanka particularly in projects relating to housing, livelihood generation, capacity building, education, hospitals and infrastructure.
A PMO statement said the TNA delegation briefed the Prime Minister on the situation in Sri Lanka and their “assessment and expectations” regarding devolution and national reconciliation.
“The Prime Minister stressed the need for a political solution that addresses the aspirations of the Tamil community for equality, dignity, justice and self respect within the framework of a united Sri Lanka.
“In this context, the Prime Minister urged all stakeholders in Sri Lanka to engage constructively, in a spirit of partnership and mutual accommodation, towards finding a political solution that builds upon the 13th Amendment of the Sri Lankan Constitution,” it said.
The visit of TNA leaders is part of India’s continuing engagement with the government and political parties in Sri Lanka, the PMO statement said.
Briefing newspersons after the meeting that lasted for an hour, TNA leader and delegation head R Sampanthan said Modi expressed interest in meeting the Chief Minister of Northern Provincial Council C V Wigneswaran.
“Modi has expressed his interest in meeting our Northern Provincial Council Chief Minister. He welcomed the Chief Minister,” Sampanthan said.
Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister Nripendra Misra, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh were also present at the meeting.