India to press SL for Tamils’ equal rights: Sonia

Sonia said India will do everything to rehabilitate Tamils, displaced in the war against LTTE.

Updated: Apr 05, 2011, 23:39 PM IST

Chennai: Reaffirming India`s support for the
Sri Lankan Tamils, Congress president and UPA Chairperson
Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday said New Delhi would continue to press
Colombo for constitutional amendments to ensure equal rights
and status to ethnic minorities in the island nation.

"In our neighbourhood, there is no issue closer to our
heart than the Sri Lankan Tamils` issue. There was significant
progress last year and India had committed and provided large
sums of money for their rehabilitation," Sonia said here at a
joint election rally with DMK President and Chief Minister M
Karunanidhi.

In her first campaign meeting for the April 13 Assembly
polls, Sonia Gandhi said India will continue to do whatever it
could for rehabilitation of Tamils displaced in the war
against LTTE.

"We are pressing the Government of Sri Lanka to make
changes (in the Constitution) to ensure equal rights and
status to Tamils," she said.

On attacks on Indian fishermen allegedly by the Lankan
Navy in Palk Straits, Gandhi said Colombo had assured that the
incidents would not recur.

"We are deeply pained that some lives of fishermen have
been lost. We have been assured that there would be no firing
in the future and we will continue to work to ensure this
commitment is met," she said.

PTI