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Updated: April 8, 2013 02:40 IST

Cancel MPs’ trip to Sri Lanka, Jayanthi tells FICCI

Special Correspondent
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Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jayanthi Natarajan argued
The Hindu
Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jayanthi Natarajan argued "I feel that this is a trip, which if undertaken, will be deeply hurtful to the cause of innocent Sri Lankan Tamils."

“It will be deeply hurtful to cause of innocent Sri Lankan Tamils’’

Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jayanthi Natarajan has urged the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) Naina Lal Kidwai to cancel the proposed trip by a delegation of Parliamentarians to Sri Lanka, “in solidarity with the sufferings of innocent civilian Tamils in Sri Lanka and out of respect for the feelings of the people of Tamil Nadu.”

[Organised under the auspices of the FICCI, the trip, by the delegation of six MPs, is to begin on Monday (April 8) and conclude on Friday].

The proposed trip, if carried out, would create an “avoidable impression” that “anguish and turmoil” felt by Tamils and the whole country over the “human rights violations” by the Sri Lankan government against Sri Lankan Tamils had not been “supported or taken seriously” by the FICCI, she argued.

In a letter written on Saturday to the FICCI president in her personal capacity, she stated, “I feel that this is a trip, which if undertaken, will be deeply hurtful to the cause of innocent Sri Lankan Tamils.” She would also write separately to the MPs.

Referring to a report in The Hindu which quoted Jyoti Malhotra, convener of FICCI Forum of Parliamentarians, as saying that this initiative is “a part of Track Two political dialogue between Indian Parliamentarians and their Sri Lankan counterparts” and that “this visit is part of a larger programme that seeks to institutionalise political partnerships,” she said “this stated intention and the trip proposed to be undertaken run directly contrary to the anger and sorrow felt by the people of Tamil Nadu regarding the human rights violations by the Sri Lankan government.”

Expressing her deep sense of anguish at the atrocities perpetrated on Tamils of Sri Lanka, she said “although UN has repeatedly called for the de-militarisation of northern Sri Lanka, this has not happened and the Sri Lankan army continues to inflict serious human rights violations upon civilian Tamils in northern Sri Lanka, treating the area a conquered land.” While recalling that the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the UPA government had, time and again, reiterated the importance of accountability and the implementation of 13 Amendment to devolve meaningful powers to the Tamil people in Sri Lanka, she said: “However, this has not happened.” The UPA government had put together substantial financial packages for the rehabilitation of the internally-displaced Tamils in northern Sri Lanka, including supply of vital pharmaceutical drugs and building houses.

However, despite the constructive aid offered by India, Sri Lanka had failed to properly deliver these resources to the intended recipients, she said, adding UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi expressed her concern over the human rights violation by the Sri Lankan government.

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To those who wonder why Tamils place their ethnic identity on top of their National one, it's really quite obvious; we have been identifying ourselves as Tamils for nearly 10,000 years now and as Indians for less than a century. A national identity that refuses to incorporate our ethnic sentiments will of course be promptly discarded.

from:  B.Manoj Kumar
Posted on: Apr 9, 2013 at 17:41 IST

Give this Lady a thumping defeat in 2014. We dont need any more crocodile tears. We have seen enough from DMK clan.

from:  Honga Singh
Posted on: Apr 9, 2013 at 12:31 IST

@Raju: Srilankan Tamil are more close to us more than 1000 years than the so called
Indian Identity which is oddly 66 yrs old. If your own language speaking people are
persecuted in some other state in India or else where in the world ,do you talk about
National interest?
The problem with our National Media is that any support to Srilankan Tamil is almost
equated to LTTE.
Live apart Srilankan Indians, what National Interest puts back Central Govt when the
Tamil Fishermen are arrested and tortured and killed by Srilankan Navy?

from:  Ravi
Posted on: Apr 8, 2013 at 23:04 IST

Why did she keep quiet for such a long time. Only Parliament elections make her to talk for Tamils.

Posted on: Apr 8, 2013 at 13:04 IST

This is an unfortunate development. There must be more visits to Sri Lanka by Indian MPs to see for themselves what is happening on the ground. These visits should be independent. This will allow the MPs to see firsthand the developments and non-developments as well as talk to people in North East South etc and make value judgements without getting swayed to the LTTE Indian and International groups as well as SL govt propaganda. As peace loving people of both countries we do not want terror groups (LTTE and SL govt) to "use" the Indian govt for their own nasty purposes and international forces under the guise of human rights to establish their spy networks in neighbouring countires like Sri Lanka which could be used against rising India in the future!

from:  Savi
Posted on: Apr 8, 2013 at 10:24 IST

why these tamil people put their tamil identity before national
interests? tamils in Sri Lanka can mind their business. why interfere
with another friendly country?

from:  Raju
Posted on: Apr 8, 2013 at 07:02 IST
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