Seeks equal status, maximum autonomy for the community and a political solution to the crisisThe Communist Party of India (Marxist) held a dharna at Jantar Mantar here on Wednesday demanding equal status, maximum autonomy and a political solution for Sri Lankan Tamils.
Senior CPI(M) leaders, including its general secretary Prakash Karat, Polit Bureau members Brinda Karat and K. Varadarajan, the party’s Tamil Nadu State secretary, G. Ramakrishnan, and All India Democratic Women’s Association general secretary Sudha Sundararaman, besides Communist Party of India (CPI) national secretary D. Raja, addressed the large gathering of Sri Lankan Tamils who came to the capital from Tamil Nadu to take part in the dharna.
Greeting the Sri Lankan Tamils who made the long journey to ensure their voices were heard in Parliament, Mr. Karat said Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa had failed to find a political solution to the Tamil question despite assurances he made to the Centre.
He exhorted the United Progressive Alliance government to fulfil its responsibility and ensure that the Sri Lankan government began talks with representatives of the Tamil people to arrive at a political solution agreeable to all.
“It was genocide”
Mr. Raja said what happened in Sri Lanka in the last days of the war against the LTTE was the “genocide” of the Tamils. He pointed out that the violent struggle in the island nation began after suppression of the Tamil population’s initial demand for equal rights and official recognition for the Tamil language.
“What began as a war against militants, ended up as a war against the entire Tamilian population. Thousands of people are still imprisoned, several thousand youngsters are still missing,” said Mr. Raja, who also demanded instituting an “impartial, international investigation” into the war crimes committed by the Sri Lankan government and the Army.
CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat said women had been the worst sufferers of the atrocities committed by the Sri Lankan armed forces.
“We stand as one to support and express solidarity with the struggle of the Tamil people for justice, human rights, and democracy,” she added