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Sri Lanka must meet the legitimate aspirations of Tamils, says India

According to the Indian government, it has consistently called on Sri Lanka to protect the interests of the Tamil community and to maintain the island nation’s character as a multi-ethnic and multi-religious society.

The Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said in a written reply to a Rajya Sabha question that some Tamil political parties in Sri Lanka have sought an international probe into allegations of human rights abuses committed during the country’s civil war. India urged the Sri Lankan government to continue the reconciliation process and address the aspirations of the Tamil community, he said.

‘India has always supported Sri Lanka’s efforts to preserve its multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, and multi-religious nature, in which all citizens, including the Sri Lankan Tamil community, can live in equality, safety, and harmony,’ the minister said. He was answering a number of questions, including one about human rights abuses during the Sri Lankan civil war.

‘The Indian government has consistently urged Sri Lanka, at all levels of bilateral discussions, to fulfill its commitments related to protecting the interests of Tamils in Sri Lanka,’ Muraleedharan said. It has been a long-standing demand of the Tamil community in the island nation to implement the 13th Constitutional amendment that allows it to devolve legislative and legislative powers. The 13th amendment was introduced after the Indo-Sri Lankan agreement of 1987.

In his remarks to the 46th session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), Muraleedharan emphasized India’s support for the aspirations of the Tamils of Sri Lanka for equality, justice, peace, and dignity. In his view, the Tamil community’s rights should be respected, including through effective devolution, as this would contribute to maintaining Sri Lanka’s unity and integrity. As there is no internal accountability process in place to fix human rights abuses in that country. The minister did not directly reply to a question on whether India would initiate measures for an international investigation.

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Despite Sri Lanka’s concerns about the Tamil community, Mureedharan said India does not believe it is in the country’s interest to meet its legitimate aspirations. ‘India also urged the Sri Lankan government to continue the process of reconciliation, address the needs of the Tamil community and engage constructively with the international community to protect all citizens’ fundamental freedoms and rights,’ he added.

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