Tamil diaspora organisation writes to Justice Minister with demands to foster reconciliation 

Thursday, 17 November 2022 01:36 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  •  Thanks Minister for delisting several Tamil diaspora organisations
  • Says however Govt. has not taken any meaningful steps since
  • Lists series of demands including release of all Tamil political prisoners 

The Canadian Tamil Congress (CTC) yesterday handed over a letter to Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe consisting of several demands to foster efforts of reconciliation between the communities. 

The letter signed by CTC Executive Director Danton Thurairajah was handed over to the Minister by Pachalingam Kandiah, a representative of the organisation. 

The CTC thanked the Minister for delisting some Tamil Diaspora organisations, including the CTC and said they feel it is a first step towards achieving improved ethnic relations and economic outcomes in Sri Lanka. 

“While this is a step in the right direction by the Government of Sri Lanka, we think that additional and meaningful actions are critical in continuing to build bridges with the Diaspora and help the island nation prosper,” they said. It noted that while the organisation has extended its support to Sri Lanka, the Government has not taken any meaningful actions which are long overdue. 

In its letter to the Minister, the CTC called on the Government to release all political prisoners, repeal the Prevention of Terrorism Act and to also release all the private lands occupied by the Sri Lankan military and cease all illegal land grabs in the Northern and Eastern provinces.

Additionally, the CTC also requested that the Government allow Tamils to mourn and remember the dead, free of intimidation by Sri Lankan state authorities and to support economic growth in the north and foreign investment by reopening the Palaly International Airport.

Handing over the Jaffna Cultural Centre funded by the Indian Government to the Jaffna municipality, compliance with the UNHRC resolution 46/1 of 2021, fully implementing the 13th Amendment and immediately holding provincial council elections, introducing reforms within the security sector, especially in Northern and Eastern Provinces, stopping of all business initiatives in the Northern and Eastern provinces operated by the Sri Lanka Military and opening of Kankesanthurai and Mannar ferry services to India were among the other requests. 

“The CTC urges the Sri Lankan Government to take some firm steps to help build trust and create a conducive environment for reconciliation. The work on a permanent long-term solution acceptable to all Sri Lankan communities is vital for the collective growth of the island,” the organisation said.