Modi must visit Tamil areas

Tamil National Movement leader P. Nedumaran said Prime Minister Narendra Modi should visit the Tamil areas in northern Sri Lanka during his visit to Colombo and take steps to alleviate their suffering.

Talking to reporters here after staging a protest in support of the fishermen here on Saturday, he said as the Tamils could not get back to their houses, take possession of their lands and resume normal life even six years after the end of the civil war, Mr. Modi should intervene and address their problems.

Alleging that the army was in full control of Tamil areas, he said there was one army man for every five Tamils and their sufferings continued. During his visit to Colombo, Mr. Modi should get first-hand account of the woes of the Tamils after visiting Jaffna and other Tamil areas, he said.

Like the British Prime Minister David Cameron, who visited Jaffna and exposed the plight of Tamils to the outside world, Mr. Modi should visit the Tamil areas and take necessary action to alleviate their sufferings, he said.

On the fishermen issue, Mr. Nedumaran said the whole problem started after India ceded Katchatheevu islet to Sri Lanka. Fishermen were put to untold miseries in the last 46 years after India ceded the islet. Hundreds of fishermen were killed, arrested and their nets and other paraphernalia destroyed by the Lankan navy, he alleged.

The Lankan authorities had also impounded more than 40 boats of the fishermen and refused to release them for more than two years. India, besides prevailing upon the Lankan government to secure the release of the boats, must also get compensation from the island nation for the damaged boats. India should also get compensation for the families of fishermen killed by the Lankan navy, he said. (The Hindu)

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