Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: The former Union Minister for Law and Justice, Subramanian Swamy, on Wednesday described the ‘Tamil Tigers’ [LTTE] as part of the problem of strife in Sri Lanka and not part of the possible solution.

He was addressing a meeting organised by the Canadian Democratic Tamil Association for Culture in Toronto on Tuesday.

Dr. Swamy maintained that while India does not support an independent Tamil Eelam and respects the integrity of Sri Lanka, nevertheless India will strive for devolution in the present Constitution of Sri Lanka as promised in the proposals of the all-party committee submitted to the Sri Lankan President.

India, he said, will hold its patience till the LTTE problem is solved by its decimation in the current ongoing military action, but that sooner or later India will ask for implementation of the devolution proposals so that the large Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in India can return home.

He said the Sri Lankan majority Sinhala population had a poor track record of keeping to commitments made to the Tamils, and hence Indians retain the right in the future to raise the plight of Tamils in international fora and in other meaningful ways.

He pointed out that in 1987 after Sri Lanka had signed an agreement with India to have an Indian peace keeping force stationed in the island, within two years the Sri Lanka President entered into a clandestine deal with the LTTE to frustrate the Indian army and inflict casualties.

The association president Suresh Elancheran proposed a vote of thanks and suggested that the time had come for an international conference of democratic Tamils for a federal Sri Lanka to be convened in New Delhi next year. Mr. Krishna Sastri of the Canada Kanchi Kamakoti Forum also spoke and congratulated the organisers.

Corrections and Clarifications

A report "LTTE part of the problem: Swamy" (November 13, 2008) describedDr. Subramanian Swamy to be the former Union Minister for Law and Justice.The Janata Party clarifies that he was the Union Minister of Commerce, Law & Justice (1990-91).