Will the Minister of EXTERNAL AFFAIRS be pleased to satate :-
(a) whether it is a fact that the Joint Parliamentary delegation that visited Sri Lanka recently has urged the Sri Lankan Government for devolution of powers to Sri Lankan Tamils;
(b) if so, the details thereof;
(c) whether the delegation has also urged the Sri Lankan Government to involve Tamils in all political issues; and
(d) if so, the reaction thereto?
ANSWER: THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS (SHRI E. AHAMED)
(a) to (d) A 12-member Joint Parliamentary delegation, led by the Hon’ble Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, visited Sri Lanka from 16-21 April 2012. During the visit the delegation called on the President of Sri Lanka and met a number of Ministers, the Leader of Opposition, Members of Parliament, key leaders of major political parties, including the Tamil National Alliance, Sri Lankan Muslim Congress, Ceylon Workers Congress and upcountry political parties and representatives of civil society and community leaders.
The delegation, during its discussions with the President of Sri Lanka and other senior Ministers of the Government, emphasised the need for Sri Lanka to reach a genuine political reconciliation, based on a meaningful devolution of powers, which takes into account the legitimate needs of the Tamil people for equality, dignity, justice and self-respect. The delegation urged the Government of Sri Lanka and other stakeholders, including the Tamil National Alliance, to resume dialogue and move towards an early political settlement and suggested in this regard urgent consultations to create conditions for the launching of the Parliamentary Select Committee process.