“The Sri Lankan Tamils issue is not of concern only to those in Tamil Nadu but all over the country. While we want a strong and vibrant government in Sri Lanka, we want no discrimination against Tamils there. Besides, those who took part in crimes against them during the last days of internal strife should be brought to book as attacks on civilians should not be equated with the war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.”
Another important issue that would come up for discussion was the plight of Tamil Nadu fishermen. The Union government had failed to protect them and their interests. To a question on the visit of the parliamentary delegation led by Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj, to Sri Lanka, he said that the boycott by major political parties in Tamil Nadu was a blow. The government had failed to convince these parties about the necessity of the visit. “However, the boycott by these parties does not belittle the purpose for which the delegation has been sent by the government.” Mr. Rao said this was the fifth State delegates’ meet organised after a gap of 13 years. Several top BJP leaders, including national president Nitin Gadkari would take part.