Foreign Secretary Sujata Singh meets Tamil political party in Lanka

Colombo, Nov.14 : India's Foreign Secretary, Sujatha Singh met members of the ruling Tamil National Alliance (TNA) here on Thursday, and assured them that New Delhi would stand by Tamils in Sri Lanka.

Singh is accompanying External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid to Sri Lanka for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).

"The foreign secretary gave us a very patient hearing and assured us that India would stand by the Tamils and do its best, take every step to ensure that the Tamil people in the country are able to live with respective dignity and be in a position to fulfil their .. aspirations," said a leader of Tamil National Alliance (TNA), R. Sampathan.

Sri Lanka has repeatedly rejected calls for an independent, international probe into accusations of war crimes committed during the war with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, which ended in May 2009.

Tens of thousands of civilians, mostly Tamils, were killed in the final months of the war, according to a UN panel.

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa is under fire from the UN Human Rights Council, which last year adopted a United States-sponsored resolution demanding that Sri Lanka ensure government troops who committed war crimes during the final stages of its war against Tamil rebels are brought to justice.

Tamils living in the northern province are still facing atrocities and said that they feel insecure living in the region.

"On the basis of adequate sharing on part of governance in the northern and eastern provinces, where the Tamil and Tamil speaking people are in a majority, much needs to be done to achieve this. We are extremely unhappy with the existing ground situation, particularly in regard to land issues," said Sampathan.

He added that the Tamils were also unhappy with the oppressive presence of the armed forces in the northern province and subjugation of women.

As many as 40,000 civilians were killed in the last months of the conflict, as government troops advanced on the last stronghold of the rebels fighting for an independent homeland, a United Nations (UN) panel said in 2011.

--ANI (Posted on 15-11-2013)

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