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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2525

India would strive for more devolution, though does not support an Independent Tamil Eelam – Dr. Swamy

Toronto, 12 November, ( Former India’s Cabinet Minister for Law and Justice, Dr. Subramanian Swamy yesterday, described the 'Tamil Tigers' [LTTE] as part of the problem of strife in Sri Lanka and not part of the possible solution. On Tuesday, he was addressing a meeting organized by the Canadian Democratic Tamil Association for Culture at Centennial College Student Center in Toronto.Dr. Subramanian Swamy said India does not support an independent Tamil Eelam and respects the integrity of Sri Lanka. Dr. Subramanian Swamy said India does not support an independent Tamil Eelam and respects the integrity of Sri Lanka.

Dr. Swamy, who is also a Harvard trained economist, told the audience that the most Indians considered LTTE as anti-Indian, and a terrorist organization. He listed that LTTE assassination of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and the terrorist outfit’s material support to other terrorist organizations within India, such ULFA and the Maoists, as reasons for its lack of support in India. He pointed out those recent attempts by some Tamil separatists and extremists in the state of Tamil Nadu to drum up support for the LTTE proved to be a fiasco.

He maintained that while India does not support an independent Tamil Eelam and respects the integrity of Sri Lanka, nevertheless India will strive for devolution in the present Constitution of Sri Lanka as promised in the proposals of the all-party committee submitted to the Sri Lankan President. India, he said, will hold its patience till the LTTE problem is solved by its decimation in the current ongoing military action, but that sooner or later India will ask for implementation of the devolution proposals so that the large Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in India can return home.

He said that the Sri Lankan majority Sinhala population had a poor track record of keeping to commitments made to the Tamils, and hence Indians retain the right in the future to raise the plight of Tamils in international fora and in other meaningful ways. He pointed out that in 1987 after Sri Lanka had signed an agreement with India to have an Indian peace keeping force stationed in the island, within two years the Sri Lanka President entered into a clandestine deal with the LTTE to frustrate the Indian army and inflict casualties.

Today’s meeting is significant because Toronto has been in the past considered by the Tamil diaspora as a stronghold of the LTTE. The emergence of an anti-LTTE formation by Sri Lankan Tamils in the city and the invitation to a foremost opponent of that terrorist organization to address their meeting is taken by observers as a new development that is reflective of the weakening hold of the LTTE on the Tamil diaspora.

The Association President Suresh Elancheran proposed a vote of thanks and suggested that time had come for an international conference of Democratic Tamils for a Federal Sri Lanka be convened in New Delhi next year. Mr. Krishna Sastri of the Canada Kanchi Kamakoti Forum also spoke and congratulated the organizers.

- Asian Tribune -

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