On the Issue of Sri Lankan Tamils

The 21st Congress of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) notes that six years after the end of the civil war, the problems of the Sri Lankan Tamils have not been resolved in any meaningful manner. The resettlement and rehabilitation of Tamil people, justice for the atrocities they suffered and provision of more powers to the northern province are still to take place.

The new government under President Maithripala Sirisena promised and has taken certain steps in this regard, however it is a matter of concern that the old situation continues by and large.

The 21st Congress of the CPI(M) urges the new Sri Lankan government to take the following measures to move towards finding a permanent political solution to the issue of Sri Lankan Tamils:

  • Implementation of the 13th Amendment with more powers for the Northern and Eastern Provinces.
  • The wartime deployment of armed forces must be withdrawn from Tamil provinces and rule by the provincial governments ensured.
  • Equal status for Tamil language
  • Tamils should have the same rights as the Sinhalese citizens
  • Tamils who were displaced from their habitations should be resettled in the same areas. The lands seized from them should be restored to them. Steps should be taken for their economic and social uplift. Health, education and employment should be ensured for them.
  • In sum, the basic rights of Tamils and Muslims in Sri Lanka must be ensured.

The Sri Lankan government should conduct a credible inquiry into the human rights violations in the final stages of the armed conflict in May 2009. This should be undertaken by an independent and credible panel of persons. The recommendations of the panel of experts appointed by the UN Secretary General and those of the LLRC should be implemented.

We urge both the Indian and the Sri Lankan governments to ensure that those refugees who choose to return to their homeland are enabled to live a life of dignity.

The government of India must utilize the new political situation in Sri Lanka and undertake diplomatic measures to help achieve the above and to resolve the issue of fishermen of Tamilnadu through speedy mutual talks.

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