While Supporting for the return of Sri Lankan Tamils to their own country, former Chief Minister of Northern Province in Sri Lanka, C.V. Wigneswaran asked the Indian government to extend dual citizenship for them, The Hindu newspaper reported. They had stayed in India for over 30 years, he said.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the Pongal festival organised by Tamiliyakam, here on various issues pertaining to Sri Lankan Tamils, he said they have been extended several benefits by the Indian government all these years.
He said over 1 lakh Sri Lankan Tamils live in the State and their children were born, brought up and educated here. “We want them to return to our country soon. They get several facilities here including higher education for their children. For that purpose they may need to extend their stay in India. To avail these benefits they need dual citizenship,” Mr. Wigneswaran added.
He added that as there was no specific treaty on dual citizenship, the Indian and Sri Lankan governments should work one out.
Wigneswaran added that there are over 10 lakh people who left the shores of the island nation and many of them want to return home. But the foundation was not set for their return, he said and assured that if his party wins the elections, it would ensure that their homecoming is facilitated. When the Sri Lankan Tamils return, the Sri Lankan government owes a huge responsibility to provide a conducive atmosphere for them to settle down, he said.
To a question on President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s stand on Tamil population, Wigneswaran said the President did not get a sizeable support from the Tamils this time and his recent statements supporting Singhalese and Buddhists shows that he wants more support from them. With the Parliamentary elections round the corner, one has to wait and watch, he said.
Regarding the delay in the release of 7 life-convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, Wigenswaran remarked that he does not think that they were directly involved in the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi. “Beyond that there may be political reasons behind that decision, which I do not know,” he added.