India’s top diplomat in Colombo, High Commissioner, Gopal Baglay held talks with top Tamil Leaders during his visit to the Northern and Eastern Provinces on March 11 to 13th. He recalled commitments of the Sri Lankan Government on the aspirations of the Tamil community on equality, justice, peace and dignity.
Baglay stated that this could be achieved through a United Sri Lanka that will contribute to peace, reconciliation, inclusive progress and strength of the country. The Tamil Leaders sought further assistance for infrastructural development, more additional economic investment as well as additional projects under grant assistance for development cooperation from India in the province. The Indian envoy held seperate meetings with the Eelam People’s Democratic Party or EPDP which thanked India for its consistent position on the implementation of the 13th Amendment which provides for the devolution of the Tamil community.
Tamil National Alliance (TNA), Tamil People’s National Alliance(TMTK) and Tamil National People’s Front(TNPF) were engaged in talks concerning the Tamil minority and increasingly urged Indian assistance under development cooperation. Baglay ensured assistance from India in these spheres and his visit came in the backdrop of the Sri Lanka resolution to be moved at the UN Human Rights Council next week.
The resolution accuses Sri Lanka of war crimes with threats to take those responsible to the International Courts and impose targeted sanctions against officials allegedly responsible for human rights. Sri Lanka was hoping that India would be standing by her when the UNHRC moves its latest accountability and reconciliation resolution this month. A UN Report has called for stringent actions against those allegedly responsible for gross human rights violations during the last phase of the armed conflict with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Nadu (LTTE).
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sri Lankan President, Gotabaya Rajapaksa also had a telephonic conversation on Saturday during which they had reviewed topical developments as well as ongoing cooperation between the two countries in bilateral as well as multilateral forms. The two leaders agreed to maintain regular contacts between relevant officials, a Prime Minister’s Official statement said in New Delhi .