06 July 2011 06:40
The Indian government cannot remain insensitive to the sentiments expressed by the Tamil Nadu government, the Tamil Nadu people and politicians about issues affecting the Tamil-speaking people in Sri Lanka,Indian foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao told journalists.
“That is something you have to understand. It will always be there and I think you cannot dismiss those concerns. As far as the Indian government is concerned, Tamil Nadu is an integral part of India. We cannot be insensitive to what the Tamil Nadu people say. I am being frank and honest on this and we are in touch with the Tamil Nadu government to tell it about what we are doing in Sri Lanka, and about the discussions with the Sri Lankan government about helping the war-affected people. How best to help them rebuild their lives and rehabilitate them. About the development assistance and the infrastructure work that is being done.
The Sri Lankan government and the Tamil parties in Sri Lanka are talking about a political settlement. So I think our approach will be to try and inform the people in Tamil Nadu and the Tamil Nadu government about what we are doing in Sri Lanka and to emphasise that since the Indian government is responsible for foreign relations it will act in the best interest of all concerned in discussing and dealing with these issues,” Ms. Rao told the visiting journalists from Sri Lanka and the Maldives in New Delhi on Monday.
She said the Tamil Nadu government and the authorities there were conscious about the sensitive nature of India’s relations with Sri Lanka and they understood that the Indian government was doing its best do deal with these issues.
“So I will say that you must understand that such concerns may be expressed from time to time. It is only natural because as Tamil-speaking people they will express their point of view in a democracy such as ours, just as opinions are freely expressed in your country. So I think we must take all this in our stride,” she said. (KB)