Saturday, 16 October 2021 11:51 GMT

Tamil Diaspora ready to engage with President


(MENAFN- Colombo Gazette) By Easwaran Rutnam (@easwaranrutnam )

The Tamil Diaspora is prepared to engage with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, an influential diaspora group based in London said.

The Global Tamil Forum (GTF) said that the intention shown by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to have talks with the Tamil Diaspora was a progressive move.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had told UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres this week that internal issues of Sri Lanka should be resolved through an internal mechanism of the country and that the Tamil Diaspora would be invited for discussions in this regard.

“President Gotabaya Rajapaksa wanting to engage with the Tamil diaspora is certainly a progressive move and we welcome it,” GTF spokesman Suren Surendiran said.

However, he questioned the sudden change of mind when only six months ago, in March 2021, the government gazetted proscribing organisations like the Global Tamil Forum.

“The GTF didn't stop its engagement with the people of Sri Lanka just because of ill-advised action of this administration proscribing us. Even recently, we facilitated multi-million US dollars worth of medical equipment to assist in the fight against Covid 19 pandemic, not just in the north and east of the country but in the entire Sri Lanka,” GTF added.

GTF met with President Maithripala Sirisena twice in London (2015/2018) and once in Berlin (2016).

“We are ready to talk to anybody if grievances of our people, in fact, grievances of all peoples of Sri Lanka can be resolved,” the GTF spokesman added.

He said that as for the domestic mechanisms that the President wants to talk to about, GTF will be happy to engage and discuss about non-judicial processes and mechanisms.

But as for judicial mechanisms, he said the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution 30/1 describes what exactly needs to happen. (Colombo Gazette)

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