India believes delivering on the legitimate aspirations of the Tamil community is in the best interests of Sri Lanka, says V Muraleedharan

Published on : 11:09 AM Dec 03, 2021

Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan reiterated that the Government of India has consistently called upon Sri Lanka during bilateral discussions at all levels, to fulfil its commitments on addressing the issues related to protecting the interest of Tamils in Sri Lanka.

New Delhi: Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan on Thursday said India believes that delivering on the legitimate aspirations of the Tamil community is in the best interests of Sri Lanka.

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He was replying to questions in Rajyasabha from MP Vaiyapuri Gopalsamy on whether the Government has taken due note of the gross human rights violations against Tamils in Sri Lanka and also whether the Government is considering changing its foreign policy orientation towards Sri Lanka given the issue of human rights abuse and their facing trial in the Human Rights Council.

"At the 46th Session of the UNHRC, India stressed its abiding commitment to the aspirations of the Tamils of Sri Lanka for equality, justice, peace and dignity. It was reiterated that respecting the rights of the Tamil community, including through meaningful devolution, contributes to the unity and integrity of Sri Lanka. Therefore, India believes that delivering on the legitimate aspirations of the Tamil community is in the best interests of Sri Lanka", Muraleedharan wrote in his reply. Advertisement

In response to a question on the details of efforts made by the Government to protect the rights of the minority Tamil community, Muraleedharan reiterated that the Government of India has consistently called upon Sri Lanka during bilateral discussions at all levels, to fulfil its commitments on addressing the issues related to protecting the interest of Tamils in Sri Lanka.

"This was reiterated during the visits of President and Prime Minister of Sri Lanka to India in November 2019 and February 2020, respectively, and during the India- Sri Lanka Virtual Bilateral Summit on 26 September 2020 between the two Prime Ministers as also EAM’s visit to Colombo in January 2021", he said.

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Muraleedharan underlined that the issue was also discussed during the visit of the Foreign Secretary to Sri Lanka in October 2021.

"India continues to remain engaged with Sri Lanka at all levels in its efforts to build a future that accommodates the aspirations of all sections of society, including the Sri Lankan Tamil community, for a life of equality, justice, peace and dignity within a united Sri Lanka", he added in his reply.

In response to another question by Rajyasabha MP Syed Zafar Islam on whether the Ministry has taken any step for easing travel restrictions on Indian students enrolled at foreign universities to make their travel possible to respective countries, MoS MEA said that the Ministry has taken up with foreign governments the need for easing travel restrictions on Indian students enrolled in foreign universities.

"Consequently, travel restrictions have been eased for Indian students to travel to many countries including USA, UK, Canada, Australia, Ireland, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg etc", Muraleedharan wrote in his reply.

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As of 29th Nov, 99 countries provided for ease of travel for fully vaccinated Indians based on recognition of India’s Covid-19 Vaccination Certificates either through mutual recognition or through their universally applicable health protocols, MoS in the Ministry of External Affairs said.

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