Visiting Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa is reported to have assured a delegation of DMK and Congress MPs from Tamil Nadu that over 64,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) – Tamils, who were in the camps after getting caught in the fight between the Sri Lankan armed forces and the LTTE, would be resettled in their homes “as early as possible” as the monsoon was also advancing.
The island nation was committed to implementing the 13th Amendment of the 1987 Rajiv Gandhi-J.R. Jayewardene accord, which deals with the devolution of powers (to Tamils) and was considering a political solution to resolve the Tamils issue.
The 14-member delegation, which included DMK MP and Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi's daughter Kanimozhi, the former Union Minister, Mani Shankar Aiyar, and Congress MP E.M. Sudarsana Natchiappan, urged the Sri Lankan President to take steps to integrate the Tamil minorities into the mainstream.
Mr. T.R. Baalu, DMK MP, who was part of the delegation, quoted Mr. Rajapaksa as saying that there was some delay in resettling the Tamil IDPs owing to the Presidential and Parliamentary polls. The delegates asked Sri Lanka to implement the Rajiv Gandhi-J.R. Jayewardene accord in “letter and spirit” to which Mr. Rajapaksa agreed, he said.
DMK whip in Lok Sabha T.K.S. Elangovan, who was also part of the delegation, said Mr. Rajapaksa explained in detail the steps taken by Sri Lanka to resettle Tamil IDPs.
Mr. Aiyar said he found the meeting “cordial and constructive.” The Sri Lankan government would take all steps to resettle the Tamil IDPs as early as possible, Mr. Aiyar quoted Mr. Rajapaksa as saying.
Earlier, the MPs in their memorandum regretted Colombo's “delaying tactics” a year after the completion of the war.
They also wanted that government to fully utilise the Rs.500 crore given by India for rehabilitating Tamils.