The most urgent step necessary in Sri Lanka is to halt the Sinhala colonisation programme being implemented by the government to change the very identity of the traditional Tamil areas, Tamil National Alliance leader R. Sambanthan said on Wednesday.
Addressing a press conference at the BJP headquarters here, Mr. Sambanthan said the programme was aimed at drastically changing the demography of the Tamil-dominated areas and rendering the demand for devolution of powers redundant. “If there is no intervention, the damage… will be irreversible and irreparable,” he said.
Mr. Sambanthan termed fruitful his meetings over the week with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in New Delhi.
He said Mr. Modi underscored the need for finding a lasting political solution within a united Sri Lanka. The Prime Minister said that he was committed to ensuring the implementation of provisions under the 13 Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution, facilitated by the India-Sri Lankan accord of 1987.
Further, Mr. Modi wanted the TNA to unite all Tamil-speaking people, including the Muslims. “He advised us not to take extreme positions. By remaining firm on non-violence, the Prime Minister said, we will win international support,” Mr. Sambanthan said.
The TNA delegation also informed Mr. Modi of the rampant militarisation of the northern and eastern provinces.
Earlier, Mr. Sambanthan met State BJP leaders, including president Tamilisai Soundararajan and Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan, to apprise them of the outcome of the TNA delegation’s meeting with Mr. Modi.