Expressing concern over “untold miseries and innumerable hardships,” faced by Sri Lankan Tamils, Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi has urged External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna to take steps to discuss the issues at the appropriate level to find a solution for their welfare and rightful living.
In a letter to Mr. Krishna, who is visiting Sri Lanka, the Chief Minister stated that one of the main issues causing serious concern to him and the people of Tamil Nadu was the presence of 30,000 people in camps as seen by the Indian Foreign Secretary during her visit.
“Though the issue was taken up with the Sri Lankan government a number of times in the past, it is really painful to note that this problem is yet to be satisfactorily resolved.”
The second issue, he said, was resettlement and rehabilitation. This had not been fully addressed by the Sri Lankan government in spite of a good amount of earnest efforts and dialogue at various levels undertaken by the Indian government.
Noting that out of 3 lakh Tamils kept in camps run by the Sri Lankan government, a majority had been allowed to return their place origin, Mr. Karunanidhi said they were still facing untold miseries and innumerable hardships to eke out a decent and respectable livelihood.
“A peaceful and dignified living has to be ensured to all the internally displaced persons,” he stressed.
The Chief Minister also wanted a timeframe for completion of 50,000 houses being built by the Indian government for the displaced people. “It may kindly be pushed through and completed in a time-bound framework, so that they are allotted to the Sri Lankan Tamils expeditiously.”
The Chief Minister also expressed his unhappiness over the delay in finding a “political solution and devolution of power”, saying though these issues had been talked about for a very long time, they were yet to be given preliminary shape.