Karaikudi (TN): Union Home Minister P
Chidambaram Saturday expressed hope that the ethnic issue in Sri
Lanka will be resolved permanently with "positive signals"
coming from the Rajapaksa government on resettlement of
displaced Tamils with equal rights.
He said the Centre had asked Sri Lankan President
Mahinda Rajapaksa during his recent visit to India to send
back the remaining 57,000 Tamils, who were now in camps, to
their homes. Rajapaksa has assured that they would be sent
back in another three to six months, he said at a function
Chidambaram said successive Indian governments since
1984, when the ethnic conflict broke out, have taken the
position that the issue should be resolved without affecting
the unity and integrity of Sri Lanka and the Tamils there
should be given equal rights in a federal set up, like states
"The Sri Lankan government can make provision in the
Constitution and provide equal rights for Tamils area also.
This is the same line, we hope, on which the Sri Lankan issue
will be permanently resolved now," Chidambaram said.
He said India has granted Rs 1,000 crore for construction
of 13,000 houses for the Lankan Tamils returning to Jaffna.
50,000 houses in total are being constructed for the
displaced Tamils, he added.
India has also given USD 800 Million on simple interest
for rehabilitation of the Tamils and infrastructure
development, including laying of roads.