India should help Sri Lanka in constructive manner: Kalam

January 27th, 2012 - 9:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Jan 27 (IANS) India should assist Sri Lanka in building a vibrant democratic set up and a constitution like itself rather than wasting time by talking about the past and kindling enmity between people, former Indian president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam said Friday.

In a statement issued here after his Jan 20-24 Sri Lankan tour, Kalam said: “Instead of wasting days by just talking, Tamil people across the world should ask one question of themselves, that is, what can I do for the Sri Lankan Tamils in a constructive manner.”

“Looking forward and acting accordingly are the actions of a knowledge-based society while it is true that what should not have happened in Sri Lanka (civil war) has happened,” Kalam said.

Kalam said he met around 80,000 students at Colombo and participated in seven events.

“Democracy should flourish in Sri Lanka and peace should return there. The people there should live as equals and peacefully. The youth should gain confidence in their lives and progress in growth path. These were the aims of my trip to Sri Lanka,” Kalam said.

He said the Trilingual programme implemented by the Sri Lankan government is the first step towards that.

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa last week launched the programme that will make sure the people of the island nation learn three main languages - Sinhalese, Tamil and English.

Kalam said during his meeting with Rajapaksa, “I had stressed that Sri Lanka should amend its constitution so that all its provinces should be converted to states with elected representatives and with a power for self-determination.”

Kalam also discussed the issues between the fishermen of Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu.

“Fishermen cannot be bound to maritime boundaries. They will fish where the catch is good. So Indian and Sri Lankan fishermen should discuss amongst themselves and decide on fishing in turns beyond boundaries and the naval force of both the countries should provide security,” he said.

Kalam said Rajapaksa was very receptive to the idea and said that Sri Lanka would be ready to sign an agreement with India if the fishermen of both the countries come to terms on the matter.

Kalam also suggested that both nations should train their fishermen in deep sea fishing and build vessels for the purpose.

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