Opposing a FICCI-sponsored Sri Lanka visit of a team of Parliamentarians starting Monday, Union Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan said it would deeply hurt the cause of Lankan Tamils and asked the industry body to cancel it in expression of solidarity with them.
"I feel that this is a trip which if undertaken, will be deeply hurtful to the cause of innocent Sri Lankan Tamils. I feel very strongly that FICCI should show solidarity with this cause, and refrain from sending a Parliamentarians team to Sri Lanka at this time," she said in a letter to FICCI president.
In the letter, a copy of which was circulated to media, the senior Congress leader referred to a media report that FICCI is proposing to send a section of MPs to the island nation from April 8 to 12 to "conduct bilateral talks".
"I wish to strongly urge you, in my personal capacity, and as my very passionately held personal conviction to desist from continuing with a business as usual scenario, and sponsoring and facilitating a visit by Indian Parliamentarians to Sri Lanka", she said.
She said such a visit would give rise to an avoidable impression that the "anguish and turmoil" being felt by Tamils and the whole country over the human rights violations against Sri Lankan Tamils had not been supported or taken seriously by FICCI.
"Needless to say, I will also write separately to my MP colleagues in this regard," she said.
She said the proposed trip runs directly contrary to the anger and sorrow felt by Tamil Nadu people regarding the human rights violations by Sri Lankan government.
"I therefore, call upon you to cancel this trip in solidarity with the sufferings of innocent civilians Tamils in Sri Lanka and out of respect for the feelings of the people of Tamil Nadu", she said.
The Congress leader criticised the Mahinda Rajapakse government saying despite a constructive aid offered by India, "Sri Lanka has failed to properly deliver these resources to the intended recipients".