Colombo, October 28 (newsin.asia): Sri Lanka on Saturday categorically disapproved of the Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) by the Catalonian regional parliament and supported the unity, territorial integrity and sovereignty of Spain.
“The Government of Sri Lanka unequivocally supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Kingdom of Spain, and considers Catalonia as an integral part of Spain. The Government of Sri Lanka urges the pursuit of dialogue for a united Spain in accordance with the rule of law, and within the Spanish constitutional framework,” a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
“Sri Lanka and Spain enjoy an enduring friendship, and Sri Lanka considers Spain as an important member in Sri Lanka’s partnership with the European Union,” the statement added.
Sri Lanka’s opposition is partly because, till very recently, it had faced an armed secessionist movement led by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The threat ceased only when the LTTE was comprehensively defeated on the battle field in May 2009.
UDI of 1990
Earlier, in 1990, the Chief Minister of the Tamil-majority North Eastern Province, Annamalai Varadarajaperumal, issued a Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) and fled to India, after his Tamil National Army (TNA) was defeated by the LTTE supported by the Sri Lankan Army.
Even now, given the Tamils‘ demand for a federal constitution for Sri Lanka, the fear of secession continues to bug the country’s Sinhalese majority. All most all Sinhalese-dominated political parties and Sinhala-Buddhist interest groups in Sri Lanka, oppose federalism and even devolution of power to a Tamil-dominated province (beyond what is already there) due to the fear of secession.
If Catalonia is allowed to secede from Spain, it would be a good example for those sections of the Tamils who are still hankering for an independent “Tamil Eelam” in the island of Sri Lanka.
No wonder the government of Sri Lanka has come out with a prompt and categorical statement supporting the unity, territorial integrity and sovereignty of Spain in the face of a threat of secession by Catalonia.
(The featured picture above shows a secessionist leader speaking in the Catalonian regional parliament)