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PM presses Sri Lanka to meet Tamil aspirations


New Delhi : Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Tuesday urged the Sri Lankan government to “show imagination and courage” to meet Tamil aspirations following the defeat of the Tamil Tigers.

Speaking in parliament, the prime minister said India had “a deep and abiding interest in the well being of the Tamil people in that country”.

He added that the “Tamil problem is larger than the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam)”.

“I sincerely hope that the Sri Lankan government will show imagination and courage in meeting the legitimate concerns and aspirations of the Tamil people to lead their lives as equal citizens and with dignity and respect.”

He pointed out that India had taken interest in helping Sri Lanka to rehabilitate the hundreds of thousands displaced by fighting that led to the decimation of the LTTE in May.

He said India had provided Rs.500 crore for this purpose and it would be ready to provide more money so that the displaced return to their original homes and occupation.