Sonia says Rajiv died for the Tamils

Thursday, 17 April 2014 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Congress President Sonia Gandhi says her husband Rajiv Gandhi, who was killed by the LTTE, had sacrificed his life while fighting for “our brothers and sisters” in Sri Lanka. Shas said that the Congress-led Government has throughout stood up for the rights of Sri Lankan Tamils and has been in the forefront to protect the needs of the Indian fishermen, the Business Standard in India reported. Speaking in Kanyakumari, in her first visit to the State after the Lok Sabha elections announced, she attacked the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) Government and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and put forward promises including right to free medical care, right to shelter, right to pension, among others. She said that during the 10 years of UPA Government, the economy of the country grew by 7.5% on an average. Commenting on the criticism of the political parties in Tamil Nadu that Congress has did nothing for the Tamilians in Sri Lanka, she said, “I want to ask them, is there any party, which has done more than the Congress party for the Sri Lankan Tamils? Rajiv Gandhi sacrificed his life while fighting for our brothers and sisters in Sri Lanka.” The party has been unwavering in its commitment to the Tamilians in Sri Lanka and the Congress-led Government has throughout stood up for their rights of the Sri Lankan Tamils. Since 2009, the Government has extended every kind of assistance, every kind of support, for the resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons, for housing, for education, for connectivity and for economic revival. She urged the people not to be misled by the false propaganda of its opponents. Similarly, the Congress Government has been in the forefront to protect the needs of Indian fishermen and has taken initiative to get the arrested Indian fishermen released and recover their boats. “It is only due to our efforts that fishermen of both the countries, of Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka, were able to meet in January this year to discuss how to find solutions to their problems. I can tell you that it took considerable time and effort to obtain the concurrence of the AIADMK Government here to allow this meeting,” she added. She added that leaders like Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi sacrificed their lives to safeguard the idea of India, which as a country stands on the side of secularism, of diversity, of equal opportunity, of reservation for the Dalits, the Scheduled Caste and Tribes and other backward classes, for the minorities, women and children. (Colombo Gazette)  

 India-Sri Lanka to resume talks on fishermen issue next month

New Delhi (ANI): Talks on the issue of trespassing and poaching by fishermen between India and Sri Lanka will resume next month. According to the Secretary of the Sri Lanka Fisheries Ministry Narendra Rajapaksa, the representatives of fishermen of both countries will meet in Colombo on 13 and 14 May, while another meeting between the officials is likely in New Delhi before that date. Sri Lanka’s Fisheries Ministry has written to the Indian Agriculture Ministry seeking a meeting of top officials in New Delhi to discuss the roadmap for the fishermen meet and exchange ideas on ways to carry the dialogue forward. The meeting of the fishermen’s representatives which was scheduled for March was postponed after Sri Lanka arrested several Indian fishermen on charges of trespassing into Sri Lankan waters. Later, Sri Lanka had released all Indian fishermen and their boats in its custody as a goodwill gesture following India’s abstention at UNHRC in Geneva last month. This has paved way for the possibility of next round of talks to sort out the pending issues.