Imposition of economic ban on Sri Lanka by the Centre, as demanded by political parties of Tamil Nadu, would jeopardise the efforts of India in rehabilitating the Sri Lankan Tamils, Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC) president B.S. Gnanadesikan said.
Addressing the party cadre here on Tuesday, he recalled that the Centre had made an allocation of Rs. 4,000 crore for the welfare of the Tamils in the island nation. This included construction of 50,000 houses, providing boats for fishermen, and construction of hospitals and schools. “Imposing an economic ban on Sri Lanka is very much possible for the Centre. But, it will do harm to the Tamils as the Centre cannot give the allotted funds to Sri Lanka. Many other countries will fund for the development of that country, and the funds may not reach the Tamils,” he said.
Referendum not possible
A move to force a referendum for the Tamils in Sri Lanka through a resolution in United Nations was not possible as it would be rejected through veto by countries that were friendly with Sri Lanka, he added.
He justified the amendments made in the US-sponsored resolution in the United Nations Human Rights council, claiming that without those amendments the resolution would not have been supported by many other countries.
On the frequent attacks on Tamil fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy, he said that it was a complex issue. However, he said the TNCC has appealed to the Prime Minister for undertaking dredging in the Bay of Bengal for a two-km stretch along Dhanushkodi that would help boats from Rameswaram reach the Indian Ocean without getting closer to Sri Lanka.