Feb 14, Colombo: India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sunday said his government has always taken care of the welfare and aspirations of Sri Lankan Tamils and the issue of Tamil rights has consistently been taken up with Sri Lankan leaders.
Addressing an event after inaugurating several projects in Chennai, Prime Minister Modi said India is ensuring welfare of Sri Lanka’s Tamil community through development works.
Highlighting various development projects supported by the Indian government, PM Modi said he is honored to be the only Indian Prime Minister to visit Jaffna.
“Our Government has always taken care of the welfare and aspirations of our Tamil brothers and sisters in Sri Lanka. It is my honor to have been the only Indian PM to visit Jaffna. Through development works we are ensuring welfare of Sri Lanka’s Tamil community. The resources given by our Government for Tamils have been much more than in the past.”
Prime Minister Modi recalled the various Indian funded projects in the housing and health sectors that benefit Sri Lankan Tamils. These projects include 50,000 houses for displaced Tamils in North-Eastern Sri Lanka, 4,000 houses in the plantation areas for Indian-origin Tamils
“On the health side, we financed a free ambulance service which is widely used by the Tamil community. A hospital has been built in Dickoya. To boost connectivity, the railway network to Jaffna and to Mannar is being re-built. Flights have been established from Chennai to Jaffna. I feel happy to share that India has built the Jaffna Cultural Centre which we hope to open soon,” he highlighted.
He said the issue of Tamil rights has also been taken up consistently with Sri Lankan leaders. “We are always committed to ensuring that they live with equality, justice peace and dignity,” he added.
Speaking about the long-standing fishermen issue, the Indian Premier assured that his government will always protect their rightful interests and always ensured early release whenever Indian fishermen are apprehended by Sri Lanka.
He said more than 1,600 fishermen arrested by Sri Lanka have been released during our tenure. Currently, there is no Indian fisherman in Sri Lankan custody. Similarly, 313 boats have also been released and his government is working for the return of the rest of the boats.