Wed. Dec 1st, 2021

Press Release                                                                                             

25th September 2021

The Non Resident Tamils of Sri Lanka (NRTSL) welcomes the declaration made by the Hon President of Sri Lanka stressing his readiness to initiate a dialogue with the Sri Lankan expatriates.  When he met the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on 19th of September in New York, he asserted that: “The Tamil diaspora would be invited for discussions” (sic). 

Engagement with the diaspora is particularly important at the time of multiple challenges faced by Sri Lanka needing multi prong approach to overcome them. 

NRTSL is supportive of open, transparent, and sincere engagement of Government of Sri Lanka with the diaspora community to strengthen the country’s socio-economic progress.  War affected Northern and Eastern Provinces of Sri Lanka needs unhindered and vast amount of support to recover from its post war malaise.  With our engagement in the ground level, NRTSL firmly believes that the majority of the Tamil diaspora is keen to engage and contribute for the developmental activities and to address the welfare needs of our people.

The present government must a go a long way to mitigate the growing mistrust and insecurity that is evolving amongst all Sri Lankans in an alarming scale. The arbitrary ban of many Tamil diaspora organisations and individuals by the present Government is also a cause of serious concern for us.  NRTSL believe that the President’s engagement with the Tamil diaspora will be an opportunity that cannot be disregarded and must be considered as a new beginning and strengthened.  Tamil diaspora is not a homogeneous entity and there are multiples of organisations representing diverse views. 

The NRTSL urge all diaspora organisations to take up this opportunity to engage with the Government with the wider and common interest to promote unity in diversity that can be achieved through sincere decentralisation of power.

The NRTSL also welcomes the pledges of the President made to the UNSG on crucial issues such as granting presidential pardons to the long-term detainees, paying reparations to victims of war, the transfer of lands taken during the war back to the owners etc. These are important commitments for the Tamil community in Sri Lanka and for the diaspora community.

On the political front, Tamil Diaspora’s engagement must be a complimentary effort to strengthen the engagement of the democratically elected Tamil representatives in Sri Lanka with the government to find long term resolution to the burgeoning political conflict.  

NRTSL urges the President to initiate a robust action program to engage with all sectors of the diaspora without being selective to enable them to be partner in of the development of our country in ushering an era of peace, progress, and prosperity for Sri Lanka.  

V.  Sivalingam

President NRTSL

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