Britain's normally hard-to-please Tamil activists were, on Saturday, effusive in their praise for United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi after she reportedly told them that she shared their concern over the situation in Sri Lanka and said that the displaced Tamils should be rehabilitated and have their rights restored.

“I am very, very concerned about the situation in Sri Lanka. Tamils should have their rights restored. We are with the Tamils, you must know,” Ms. Gandhi was reported as saying in a statement issued by the Global Tamil Forum.

‘Moved'

The forum's spokesman Suren Surendiran, a strong critic of the Indian government, said he was “moved” by her gesture.

“She was very generous considering that she was surrounded by security people and could have easily ignored us. I was very moved by her gesture.”

She had spoken to senior members of the forum at a reception hosted by the Commonwealth Foundation on Thursday.

Earlier, she delivered the 14th Commonwealth Lecture on “Women as Agents of Change.”

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