New Delhi: India Foundation organised a symposium on “India Sri Lanka Relations and New Challenges” at the Indian International Centre at Delhi. The conference was attended by a galaxy of intellectuals and the list of speakers included Dr Subramanian Swamy, President of Janta Party, Shri Balbir Punj, Rajya Sabha MP and D Raja from the CPI. Shri Balbir Punj was the Chairman of a delegation of Indian MPs that had recently visited Sri Lanka. The symposium was held on Wednesday, May 09, 2012,
India-Sri Lanka Relations – New Challenges
Dr Subramanian Swamy said relations between India and Sri Lanka is both cultural and historical. Lord Ram anointed Vibhishan Ji as the King of Sri Lanka after defeating Ravan. In fact, scientific reports have proved that the DNA of people from India and Sri Lanka are the same. Dr Swamy said that in the wake of these facts the government of India should focus its attention on the plight of ordinary Tamils and not on the LTTE. He added that if India spoils its relations with Sri Lanka then yet another neighbouring country would become our enemy and would then be exploited by China and Pakistan. Dr Swamy further said that the issues of Tamil people are regional and regional issues should not be given precedence over national interest. Due to myopic policies of the present UPA government at the Centre, all neighbouring countries are turning hostile towards India which marks a big diplomatic failure of the government, he said.
Shri Balbir Punj said that Sri Lankan Parliament has a statue of Vibhishan Ji, who is revered and acknowledged by Sri Lankans as their first King. Shri Punj added that though Sri Lankan people do not understand much of Hindi yet they love and watch Hindi movies and like listening to Hindi songs. He further said that Lankans are followers of Buddhism and have a deep regard towards India. Yet, Tamil and Sinhalese live in complete separation in Sri Lanka. Sri Punj, further explained that Lankan Army has been imposed in all Tamil dominated areas and the situation is so grim that if any individual from the Tamil community wants to organize a function or a party, he/she needs to first inform the Army. No decision can be taken without Army’s permission, he added. Shri Punj said various associations of Sri Lankan Tamils have told him that they all want and favour an undivided Sri Lanka.
Symposium at India Foundation, NewDelhi
CPI’s D. Raja said that he was the first person who spoke for the rights of Sri Lankan Tamils. Detailing on the ground realities, Shri Raja said Tamils can live in Sri Lanka but cannot be a part of the ruling set up. Preference to Sinhalese language is given across government jobs and other places. The Sri Lankan Army and Police have almost zero percentage of Tamils. He further explained that after independence, India and Sri Lanka had entered into an agreement under which Sri Lanka sent back a few Tamils to India. This was unfortunate. After Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination Tamil movement in Sri Lanka turned into a terrorist movement. Shri Raja further pointed out that today all Tamil monuments are being destroyed in Sri Lanka. Though I am a Communist yet I have to say that Buddhist idols are being put up at the Hindu temples in Sri Lanka. At several places it becomes difficult to distinguish whether the temple is Hindu or a Buddhist. In fact, now the movement has graduated from terror opposition to being a Tamil opposition, said Shri Raja.
The symposium was convened by BJP’s National Spokesperson Smt Nirmala Sitaraman. Shri Chandan Mitra, Shri Tarun Vijay, Smt Jaya Jaitley, Shri R Balashankar, Shri Ram Madhav, Shri NN Jha and several other intellectuals of the society participated in the symposium.
Source : Samvada.org