Colombo, July 6 (newsin.asia): A five-member delegation of the Tamil Progressive Alliance (TPA) led by MP and former cabinet minister Mano Ganeshan, met the Indian High Commissioner Gopal Baglay, Deputy High Commissioner Vinod Jacob and Political Counsellor Bhanu Prakash, on Tuesday and apprised him of the views of the Indian Origin Tamils on current political and welfare issues facing the community.
The TPA delegation, which included Deputy leader V.Radhakrishnan, General Secretary Chandra Schaffter and MPs Udayakumar and Velukumar, told the envoy that in their view the growth of China’s influence in Sri Lanka could be detrimental to India’s security, that they doubt if the Chinese believe in a multi-lingual and multi-ethnic Sri Lanka and if they consider the Tamils to be Sri Lankans.
The delegation pointed out that India has midwifed the 13 th. and 16 th.Amendments of the Sri Lankan constitution in 1987 and 1988 which had created elected Provincial Councils and made Tamil an official language apart from Sinhala.
The 16 th. Amendment passed in 1988 enabled Members of Provincial Councils to use either of the two National Languages (Sinhala or Tamil) to discharge their duties. Sinhalese and Tamil were both made the language of administration and as languages of legislation. Both Sinhala and Tamil were made languages of courts also.
But the Sri Lankan government has disregarded the 13A and has indefinitely postponed Provincial Council elections. It has illegally taken over hospitals and schools from the purview of the Provincial Councils. The scheme that Mano Ganeshan had launched when he was Minister of Official Languages to train bilingual government staff has been abandoned by the current government. The TPA pointed out that India has every right to take up these issues with the Sri Lankan government.
When Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Sri Lanka he had announced the construction of 10,000 houses for the Indian Origin Tamils in the plantations but the Sri Lankan government has not even started this project.
The TPA delegation said that it would like to go to New Delhi and Chennai to meet Prime Minister Modi and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin after the pandemic and requested the Indian High Commission to facilitate it.