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‘Tamil issue pushed to margins as India, Lanka rework ties’


New Delhi : In the new equations in the aftermath of regime changes in New Delhi and Colombo post 2014, the ownership of Sri Lankan Tamil question that India had assumed all through the ethnic conflict is no more at the centre of the table, says a new book.

The two countries are now engaged in reworking thei relations in terms of regional or maritime security and economic development, says the book “After the Fall: Sri Lanka in Victory and War” by author-journalist Mohan K Tikku.

“Without saying so, the Tamil issue has been pushed to the margins. However high-minded India’s intents in taking up the Tamil cause might have been, it has not yielded commensurate results. The game has changed. The promises that a former president (on devolution of powers to Tamils) might have made (to India) are equally passe,” the book says.

Ever since India stepped in to play some role in resolving the ethnic tangle following the 1983 anti-Tamil riots, it had been New Delhi’s endeavour to persuade the Sri Lankan government to accommodate Tamil aspirations by moving in the direction of a federal constitutional framework within a united Sri Lanka, it says.

The same approach and thought process was enshrined in the Indo-Sri Lanka Peace Agreement signed in Colombo in 1987. India’s sole justification for incurring huge human material costs in its Sri Lankan operation was that it had at least prepared the ground for a degree of devolution of powers to the Tamils in the north-eastern province and to bring peace to the island.

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