The Left parties have asked the government to seek an expeditious settlement of the Tamil question during Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa's visit beginning Tuesday.

In a statement, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) said Mr. Rajapaksa's visit would be an occasion for the reaffirmation of the close and friendly ties between India and Sri Lanka and hoped his interaction with Indian leaders would contribute towards strengthening these relations further.

At the same time, the government should impress upon the Sri Lankan President the need for an expeditious political settlement of the Tamil question which would involve the devolution of powers and autonomy for the Tamil-speaking areas. Such a political solution would strengthen the unity and integrity of Sri Lanka, said a CPI (M) statement.

It pointed out that with the end of the war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, the rehabilitation of the displaced Tamil people is the other major concern. Of the three lakh displaced people who were in relief camps, around 80,000 had still not returned to their homes. A speedy rehabilitation of the displaced, ensuring their means of livelihood and their security should be a major priority. India, which is also providing assistance to this process, could discuss ways to speed up the rehabilitation.

CPI national secretary D. Raja also urged the Centre to compel Mr. Rajapaksa to work towards a political solution to solve the issue of “right to life with dignity” of the ethnic Tamils and not delay it any further.

More In: National | News