A leading Tamil Diaspora group based in London, the Global Tamil Forum (GTF) says it is committed to non-violence and together with the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), will work towards Tamil interests.
Global Tamil Forum spokesperson and its director of strategic initiatives, Suren Surendiran, presently in Chennai on a private visit, told the Deccan Chronicle that the GTF believes that the meeting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had with the TNA was a significant step.
“On the day after his taking charge as PM, Mr Modi had met President Rajapaksa, who was an invited guest at his inauguration event. However, before meeting a formal Sri Lanka’s government delegation or the official opposition party in Sri Lankan Parliament, PM Modi choosing to meet the TNA underscores the significance. Regarding subsequent events, Rajapaksa has maintained status quo. He has not made any efforts to engage the TNA in any constructive way. The large military presence still continues in the Tamil-dominated north and east. Land-grabbing and government-sponsored colonisation of the Tamil areas with the clear intent to change the demography is still continuing. Vulnerable women, mostly the 80,000 or more Tamil war widows in the north and east, are being harassed and subjected to sexual violence, largely by the Sinhala military,” he said.
The GTF spokesman further notes that the Tamil leadership in the north/east and around the country, including the plantation workers and the leadership of the Tamil-speaking Muslims should find convergence on the important issues faced by their communities adding that the same should be achieved with the like-minded Sinhala Buddhists and Christians.
“While Tamil diaspora is accepted as a stakeholder by most of the international community, India’s recognition will be fundamentally important to strengthen the moderate voices within the diaspora. This, in turn, will broaden the stakeholder base that can add capacity and capability to the struggle, in the most constructive way,” he added. (Colombo Gazette)