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Updated: September 19, 2011 02:23 IST

Everyone wants united Sri Lanka under one Constitution: Joshi

R. K. Radhakrishnan
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Senior BJP leader and MP Murli Manohar Joshi delivering the Anagarika Dharmapala commemorative lecture at a function organised to celebrate 147th birth anniversary of Anagarika Dharmapala, in Colombo on Saturday. Photo: R.K. Radhakrishnan
The Hindu Senior BJP leader and MP Murli Manohar Joshi delivering the Anagarika Dharmapala commemorative lecture at a function organised to celebrate 147th birth anniversary of Anagarika Dharmapala, in Colombo on Saturday. Photo: R.K. Radhakrishnan

A Tamil National Alliance (TNA) delegation, which met senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Murli Manohar Joshi here, told him that “some concrete steps must be visible” soon in arriving at a political solution to the ethnic question.

The talks between the Sri Lankan government and the TNA collapsed early last month, after the TNA insisted on a response to its discussion papers. The talks resumed on September 16, and a joint statement was put out. It said: “It was agreed at this meeting that the talks could continue on the basis of the Discussion Paper submitted by the TNA on 18th March 2011 along with earlier proposals, statements, and reports for Constitutional Reforms made public so as to agree on the principles that should form the basis of a political settlement to arrive at acceptable Constitutional arrangements soon.”

Early resolution sought

After meeting policymakers and politicians here, Dr. Joshi said he was left with the impression that everyone wanted an early resolution leading to a united Sri Lanka under one Constitution. “[The Sri Lankan] Government is proceeding in that direction.”Dr. Joshi articulated more or less the same line of the United Progressive Alliance-II government after listening first-hand to leaders here including Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne, Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris and TNA leader R. Sampanthan.

“The principle of democracy of accepting every citizen as equal has to be kept in mind, and, all sections of society — including those in the northern parts — should be made to feel [they are] Sri Lankans [and are] equals. And all the assurances and the commitments should be implemented speedily… We in India desire and hope that Sri Lanka would remain united, free from violence, working under a Constitution and becoming a strong seat for preserving peace in this region,” he told the Indian press here in an interaction on Sunday.

Asked why the BJP had of late begun talking about the Tamil issue, he said it was the duty of the party to raise issues of national interest and national well-being. “We are a responsible and constructive opposition.”

Follow Buddha

Dr. Joshi was here to deliver the Anagarika Dharmapala commemorative lecture at the Mahabodhi Society of Sri Lanka, on the occasion of the 147th birth anniversary of its founder, Anagarika Dharmapala.

In the lecture, his message to Sri Lanka was that the country should follow the teachings of the Buddha and take the middle path. And that the government should work to create a society that was inclusive, democratic, peaceful, progressive and working towards the unity of the country.

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Senior BJP leader and MP Murli Manohar Joshi is very correct. All what Sri Lankans want to see happening is just that; I repeat: “The principle of democracy of accepting every citizen as equal has to be kept in mind, and, all sections of society — including those in the northern parts — should be made to feel [they are] Sri Lankans [and are] equals and that Sri Lanka would remain united, free from violence, working under a Constitution and becoming a strong seat for preserving peace in this region” It is important that the Tamils will follow this path and shun the influence from the West that drives wedges to divide the population on ethnic lines in Asian countries.

from:  Christopher Kay
Posted on: Sep 19, 2011 at 11:48 IST

There cannot be reconciliation without an international independent investigation, accountability and justice.Given past events an international force similar to the UN force must be on the ground to monitor the ground situation and protect the minorities.

from:  Shiva
Posted on: Sep 19, 2011 at 08:06 IST

There were many talks between the SL governments and Tamil group/s mediatied by India or Norway prior to the end of war and when LTTE were strong. Still obviously all these attempts failed despite Tamils' military threat.

Now the talks are beetween TNA ( The largest Tamil political party) and SL government with no external powers' involvement or mediation. I've already heard when they resumed talks recently that SL refuses to TNA's request for a dead line for the conclusion of talks. This shows SL wants to buy time and drag the issue. Will the talks lead to an agreement? Kosova, Bosnia and many other internal disputes came to successful conclusion because there were either USA or EU got involved. Similarly, I do not believe the current SL-TNA talks will bring any fruits unless there is some kind of international mechanism to bring the heads together.

from:  Kumar V
Posted on: Sep 19, 2011 at 01:59 IST

This lesson is good for monks whose are more responsible for creating such divided nation. It is a time for political leaders to sit and finalize solution for north and east people to have their rights with dignity and respect, they do not have to suffer for ever, they too our people and their future need to have direction. Every political leaders must have clear policies to this matter. With help from the India and support from all people with the will of majority let settle this matter for ever. Let people to have peaceful future with hope for tomorrow.

from:  Francis liynanage
Posted on: Sep 19, 2011 at 01:05 IST
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