Allow people-to-people contact, UNP MP tells TN
By P K Balachandran - COLOMBO
04th September 2012 10:54 AM
Ramaiah Yogarajan, MP and a leader of the opposition United National Party, has appealed to the political leaders of Tamil Nadu not to impair people-to-people contact between Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka.
“While I agree that there are grounds to send back Lankan military personnel undergoing training in India, there should be no bar on people-to-people contact between the two countries. There should be no bar on Lankans participating in cultural shows, sporting events, and conducting business in Tamil Nadu,” Yogarajan told Express here on Monday.
He was referring to the call from Tamil nationalists to send back a Sri Lankan school cultural troupe and the Chief Minister’s objection to the participation of a Sri Lankan football team in a tournament at the Nehru Stadium in Chennai.
Recalling the abrupt cancellation of singer Hariharan’s concert in Colombo recently, Yogarajan said: “When Hariharan and other such top artistes from Tamil Nadu perform in Colombo, most of those coming to hear or watch them are Tamils. The Tamils here are wedded to Tamil culture and sustain it in a foreign environment. Therefore, they need to be catered to. It would be unfair to deny them exposure to Tamil culture.”
However, Mano Ganesan, head of the Democratic Peoples’ Front (DPF), a party of Colombo Tamils, said that anti-Sri Lankan moves occurred in TN and other parts of the world because of the Lankan government’s failure to solve the Tamil question. “The Lankan Tamil question had crossed the shores of Sri Lanka long ago. So, actions such as those occurring in TN are only to be expected. Only when the Tamil question here is resolved by the government of Sri Lanka, will these occurrences cease,” Ganesan said.
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