Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said that India has been consistently taking up the issue of the rights of Tamils living in Sri Lanka with the neighbouring country's government and gave an assurance that his administration is committed to ensuring that” they live with equality, justice, peace and dignity.”
In his address after inaugurating a slew of development projects in Tamil Nadu, Modi said his government has always taken care of the welfare and aspirations of 'Tamil brothers and sisters' in Sri Lanka and recalled that he is the only Indian Prime Minister to have visited Jaffna, the capital of the Tamil-dominated northern province.
“Through development works, we are ensuring welfare of Sri Lanka’s Tamil community. The resources given by our government for Tamils have been much more than what it were in the past,” he said, listing the projects like 50,000 houses for displaced Tamils in North-Eastern Sri Lanka, 4,000 houses in the plantation areas. railway network to Jaffna, and resumption of flight services from Chennai to Jaffna.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had during his recent campaign in Tamil Nadu accused the BJP and Modi of showing 'no respect' to Tamil culture. While AIADMK and BJP have already announced that they would fight the assembly elections together, Sasikala's camp, steered by Dhinakaran, have been staking claim to the party and harping on its retrieval.
Quoting verses of Tamil poet of yore, 'Avvaiyar', Modi said it was also an inspiration to the 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat' (Self-reliant India) goals. The popular lines underscore that water is the basic element that could lead to the nation's prosperity. Stressing water conservation, the PM urged the people to do work towards that goal and underlined that it was not only a national issue, but also had global implications.
(With inputs from PTI)