Speaking at an event organised by the British Tamils Forum at the UK Parliament, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Tamil Nadu state president K Annamalai spoke about the civilizational connect between India and Sri Lanka and the steps taken by the Indian government for the development of the neighbouring country, including the Tamil community.
He added that the Narendra Modi government has been consistent in pushing for the implementation of the 13th Amendment in letter and spirit.
During his speech, he highlighted some of the issues that concerned him during his visit to the Northern and Eastern parts of the country, in which the Tamils are present in large numbers.
"I would like to pinpoint four-five issues of concern that I have seen during my visit to the North and East.
"I have observed the educational standards of the northeastern part have drastically fallen down. The same area 10-15 years before, the students, the Tamil Eelam students of the northeastern part who were able to top most of the Sri Lankan examinations, in the last three-four years of central examinations, they seem to fare very poorly and they are in the bottom percentile.
"This I believe is very very dangerous and any political solution when we do it now or in the future, it has to have a very able workforce, it has to have a very educationally sound people. This I believe is a very critical area of concern.
"The second area of concern I see in the North and the East-- the alarming rate of fall in the Hindu population. The Hindu population is falling down drastically, in fact I use the word called 'alarmingly' in the Northern andeastern part of Sri Lanka which I believe is a severe case of concern because this demographic change is going to adversely affect the culture of that area in decades to come.
"The third issue I believe is the issue of archaeological sites. The Northeast continues to enjoy thousand thousand plus years of its own unique culture and distinct identity. Of late we see the Buddhist archaeological sites cropping in whereby there is a cause of tension between the Elam tamils and the Buddhists there because of the archaeological issues that I believe it needs to be sorted out for any lasting peace to come there and solution to be permanent in the coming decade or so.
"Fourth one I have seen the Sri Lankan Army occupy agriculture lands in the northeastern part of Sri Lanka and which are very fertile lands and a lot of Army Camps and everything being established there.
"And the fifth issue, I've seen the lack of unity among the Tamil political parties in the both in the northern eastern part where you individually interact with the Tamil political leaders, everybody seems to have their own solution but they don't seem to have a combined solution where they can sit on the table. We can talk everywhere across the country, across the world but to have a lasting solution it is very important that the Tamil parties of the Northeast they come to a common platform."
S Rajesh is Staff Writer at Swarajya.
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