Written by Staff Writer
18 Aug, 2014 | 9:46 pm
Dr. Subramaniam Swamy, senior Indian governing alliance leader and Chairman of the BJP’s Strategic Action Committee, says the Indian government will never support any intrusive resolutions on Sri Lanka.
In an exclusive interview with News 1st’s Shameer Rasooldeen, on the sidelines of a Defence Summit in Colombo, Dr. Swamy also highlighted the importance of achieving reconciliation.
The Janatha Party led by you joined hands with the BJP in 2013. How do you view the progress made by Sri Lanka following the conflict five years ago?
First of all, normalcy has been restored. Two. One of the largest displaced persons camps has been emptied, and people have got their houses and they have gone back. The third thing is that much of the infrastructure has been restored.
In terms of achieving reconciliation do you believe that the Sri Lankan Government is on the right track?
I think the only element of reconciliation that would be necessary is that the Sinhalese accept the Tamils and vice versa – that they are all well the same people.
But you agree that there is no genuine reconciliation in Sri Lanka at the moment?
Not so much with the people, but the leadership has been leaned on by the LTTE and the LTTE has promoted some people. They killed all the Tamil democratic leaders,
So what is the take of the BJP government on reconciliation?
Well, first of all, we want good relations with Sri Lanka. They are our neighbours and they are our own people. I mean both Sinhalese and Tamils went from India. Second is that Sri Lanka is a strategic island. And we are not going to allow to create vacuum for countries which are not well disposed to India to fill in the gap.
The Congress Party led government which was in power before the BJP has been very vocal on Sri Lanka’s human rights record. They were concerned about the Tamil-speaking people in Sri Lanka. What is the take of the BJP are you concerned about the Tamil speaking people in the country?
We are concerned to the extent….
Shameer – but not concerned enough?
No. It is not a question of not ‘concerned enough.’ I mean after all what do the Tamils want. They want devolution. We are not going to accept Eelam. That is out of the question. We don’t believe in secessions. We have discouraged it in our own country: we can’t encourage it in some other country.
The Indian Government abstained from voting on the United Nations Human Rights Council resolution which was passed in March this year. Come March 2015, what would be the position of the Indian government?
Well, if it’s going to be an intrusive resolution then we’ll vote against it.
Shameer – You will not abstain?
We will not abstain. No. If they are saying we have to go investigate and that Sri Lanka is not co-operating. Those things we will not accept. You want to raise it. You want Sri Lanka to give you a record and a report, that we may support.
But there is a Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission report, currently in place, the international community is saying that the Sri Lankan Tovernment is not even adhering to the recommendations put forward in this report in question. Do you agree or disagree?
Well.. I can tell you from my own country’s experience. No human rights group appointed by the government, whether it is in Kashmir or Manipur, have ever said that the government is doing good work.
You speak of the good relations between the Sri Lankan Government and the Indian Government, which is now in power. The President of Sri Lanka has been releasing Indian fishermen who were in the custody of the Sri Lankan authorities, over the past few months. However, a similar gesture has not been projected or taken into account by the Indian officials at present.
Well, I will tell you one thing, this idea of releasing fishermen on bail, was actually disclosed to me for the first time when I met the President last year, and he is implementing it. If there’s any Sri Lankan fishermen in Indian jails, please tell me. I will see that they are released the same way.
30 Jul, 2021 | 12:16 AM
25 Jul, 2021 | 08:16 PM
Are you interested in advertising on our website or video channel
Please contact us at [email protected]