NATIONAL

Hillary calls for equal rights for all in Sri Lanka

In a lengthy speech largely dedicated to vital global issues, the visiting U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, made one reference to Sri Lanka, calling for equal political rights for all its citizens, and this instantly struck a chord with the diverse audience drawn from different sections of society in Chennai.

The audience applauded as soon as Ms. Clinton, addressing them at the Anna Centenary Library auditorium here on Wednesday afternoon, said: “Here in Chennai, all citizens are participating in the political and democratic life of the country. All the people of Sri Lanka should also have the same hope and opportunity.”

India had a duty

In an address in which she called upon India to play a leadership role in South and Central Asia, Ms. Clinton said India had a duty to speak out against violation of human rights in Myanmar. While maintaining that the U.S. understood India's strategic concerns, she hoped that “New Delhi will continue to press the government there to talk to [Myanmar's pro-democracy icon] Aung San Suu Kyi.”

Urging India to play a role in the emergence of strong democratic societies, she made references to the Maldives, Bangladesh and Kazakhstan too.

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