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Lankan opposition party slams Sonia Gandhi for 'interference'

April 11, 2011 21:35 IST

An opposition party in Sri Lanka on Monday accused Congress president Sonia Gandhi of 'gross interference' in the country's internal affairs for seeking constitutional amendments to fulfil the political aspirations of the ethnic Tamil community in Colombo.

"Mrs Gandhi has said that there must be constitutional changes to address Sri Lankan Tamil issues. This is a gross interference in our internal affairs," said Tilwin Silva, general secretary of JVP, the country's communist party.

This was not the first time that India has interfered in Sri Lanka's affairs, Silva said, adding the JVP condemns India as much as it condemned the Sri Lankan government for keeping mum on Indian interference.

"You can't address Tamil issues through a mere constitutional change. There must be a genuine programme for reconciliation to bring in communal harmony. It is for us Sri Lankans to change the constitution or not. Mrs Gandhi has no business to tell us," Silva said in a statement.

Reaffirming India's support for the Sri Lankan Tamils, the United Progressive Alliance chairperson last week said New Delhi would continue to press Colombo for constitutional amendments to ensure equal rights and status to ethnic minorities in the country.

JVP has often taken an anti-Indian stand on bilateral matters, particularly between 1987 and 1990.

Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam rebels, who were defeated in May 2009, had fought a three-decade-long civil war for a separate Tamil state, alleging discrimination against the minority ethnic community by the majority Sinhalas.

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