Sri Lanka issue should be resolved soon Thondaman
Special Correspondent

Udhagamandalam: The north-east issue in Sri Lanka should be resolved as soon as possible by the Government keeping in mind the grievances and aspirations of the Tamil people, said Sri Lankan Minister of Youth Empowerment and Socio-Economic Development Arumugan Thondaman.

He was addressing the 53rd annual conference of the Planters' Association of Tamil Nadu at Coonoor on Saturday. Mr. Thondaman, who is also President of the Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC), said that the CWC would always support the peace process and hoped that both the Government and the LTTE resolved the issues through negotiations and political dialogue. India's assistance in making the parties come together to resolve the issues was the need of the hour.

He said that Sri Lanka and India need peace and tranquillity to move forward in achieving their national development programmes.

If peace was achieved through non-violence it would be more enduring than if it was brought about by war. Later speaking to mediapersons, Mr. Thondaman said that India's efforts to bring the warring groups together were laudable.

To a query, he replied that he did not subscribe to the reported view of a Cabinet colleague that the Indian envoy in Sri Lanka, Nirupama Rao, was interfering in the internal affairs of his country.

He added that even the Government did not share the view. To another question, he said that since an agreement had made it possible for Sri Lankan tea to be exported to India, there was no harm in exploring the possibility of exporting Indian tea to Sri Lanka.


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