India wants ‘maximum devolution’ for Tamils in Sri Lanka

August 1st, 2008 - 6:19 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

On Board PM’s Special Flight, Aug 1 (IANS) India favours “maximum devolution” for the Tamil minority in Sri Lanka and feels that Colombo is slowly moving towards a federal power structure, a top Indian official said Friday. “We want maximum devolution of power for Tamils,” the official told reporters on board the Indian Airlines flight carrying Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Colombo for the SAARC summit opening Saturday.

The official said that Sri Lanka, tormented by a dragging ethnic conflict, was moving towards federalism but a lot more needed to be done.

Referring to the military situation in the island nation, the official said the Sri Lankan military had made significant advancements in the past four to five weeks against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

The Sri Lankan security forces are presently taking on the LTTE in that part of the country’s north which the Tamil Tigers control.

More than 70,000 people have been killed in the Tamil separatist campaign since 1983.India, the official reiterated, stood for the unity and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka - a long-held stand that means that New Delhi is against the formation of an independent Tamil state.

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