Sri Lanka Brief
FeaturesNewsThe Tamil population has legitimate grievances – Manmohan Singh

The Tamil population has legitimate grievances – Manmohan Singh

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“But the Tamil problem does not disappear, with the defeat of the LTTE. The Tamil population has legitimate grievances. They feel they are reduced to second-class citizens. the Sinhala chauvinism is a reality. But we have to find a difficult balance because what happens in Sri Lanka has a domestic dimension also.”
Q 1: Sir, you did not mention anything about our neighbourhood.
A: Well, neighbourhood worries me a great deal, quite frankly
You have a situation in Sri Lanka. The decimation of the LTTE was something which is good. But the Tamil problem does not disappear, with the defeat of the LTTE. The Tamil population has legitimate grievances. They feel they are reduced to second-class citizens. And our emphasis has been to persuade the Sri Lankan government that we must move towards a new system of institutional reforms, where the Tamil people will have a feeling that they are equal citizens of Sri Lanka, and they can lead a life of dignity and self-respect. It is not easy. Within Sri Lanka’s population, there are hotheads, the Sinhala chauvinism is a reality. But we have to find a difficult balance because what happens in Sri Lanka has a domestic dimension also. The Tamil Nadu government and assembly have often shown great worry about what is happening. Our challenge is to keep the Tamil Nadu government on our side. I have had good cooperation with Jayalalithaa-ji. I raised this matter with her the very first time. What she asked of me was moderate. Whatever be the resolutions that were passed in the assembly, I found her fully conscious of the complexities and the realities of managing this relationship.
 Prime Minister of India 
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