Describing the outcome of presidential elections in Sri Lanka as a victory for “Tamil people”, leaders from Tamil Nadu politics today urged the new President to look into protecting the rights of Tamils and pave the way for new initiatives to improve their livelihoods.
Tamilisai Sounderrajan, president of BJP Tamil Nadu urged Maitripala Sirisena to see to it that the Tamils living in Lanka get better livelihoods and also find out a political solution to their problem. Calling for equal political rights for them, she said, “whoever it is, if they go against the law and take revenge on people, they will fail. History again and again reminds it to us.”
Tamil Maanila Congress leader GK Vasan told in an interview that Rajapaksa was taught a lesson through this election and termed the outcome as victory for Tamils.
He said Sirisena besides protecting the rights of Tamils, should ensure equal opportunites similar to the Sinhalese and asked him to solve the fishermen issue.
The Congress party too has welcomed the verdict. State party spokesperson A Gopanna said devolution of powers to the Tamil minority should be the top priority of the new government.
DMDK leader Vijaykanth said Rajapaksa was rejected for the war crimes he had perpetrated.
Industry sees better ties
Indian businesses in Sri Lanka expects the new regime to be more friendly and development-oriented.
An industry expert, on condition of anonymity, said the new government might be more favourable to the Indian government but one has to wait and watch what the real actions would be in the near future.
The Rajapakse government was interested in bringing in developments to certain parts of the country, mostly neglecting some other parts, said an industry source. While some of the sea and air ports constructed by the country with the help of China lay without users, the Indian investment had been into supporting the life of common man and the people in Sri Lanka might be realising this, said the source.
Sirisena also does not carry the baggage of the Eelam war, which could be a positive in the relation between India and Sri Lanka, he said.
India’s strategic interests in Sri Lanka are vital, with cultural and religious ties between the countries going back to centuries. China, which is relatively a new presence in Sri Lanka, had made large strategic and commercial investments in the country over the last decade.