Tamil Diplomat

My visit to Jaffna “is one to wipe tears from the eyes of those who suffered”: Modi (Photos)

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for equitable development and respect for all citizens in Sri Lanka, seen as an oblique reference to Tamils who had suffered during the war. 

Winding up his public engagements on his two-day trip to the island with a hugely-symbolic visit to Tamil-dominated Jaffna, the first by an Indian Prime Minister, he said he was glad that it “is one to wipe tears from the eyes of those who suffered”.

The Prime Minister, who is also the second international leader to visit the region after Premier David Cameron in 2013, handed over 27,000 new homes to Tamils who became homeless during the civil war.

The houses were built with Indian assistance as part of India’s efforts to help in the reconciliation process.

Modi’s visit came a day after he had met President Maithripala Sirisena in Colombo and favoured a life of equality, justice, peace and dignity in a unified Sri Lanka.

He had also urged the Sri Lankan government to ensure early and full implementation of the 13th Amendment relating to devolution of powers to Tamils and to go beyond that in finding a political solution.

Laying the foundation today for a Cultural Centre being built here by India, Modi said, “Sri Lanka should also progress. Unity, peace and amity are essential ingredients for equitable development where there is respect for all citizens.”

Northern Province chief minister and Tamil leader C V Wigneswaran, who was present at the event, made a strong pitch for replacing the 13th Amendment with a more dynamic system of devolution of powers.

“13th amendment (to Sri Lankan Constitution) cannot be a final solution,” he said, noting that Modi himself is a proponent of devolution of powers and cooperative federalism.

Earlier, Modi flagged off a train service in the north-western town of Talaimannar ? the closest point to India ? restored after decades of civil war, completing the reconstruction of the entire Northern Province Railway Line.

At Ilavalai in Jaffna, where India is assisting in a housing project, Modi participated in a housewarming ceremony and lent a helping hand in the traditional milk boiling before a family moved into a new home.

He was received by women who performed the traditional ‘aarti’ to the accompaniment of Nadaswaram music.

Modi also offered prayers at the Naguleswaram Temple in Jaffna. “Feeling blessed,” he tweeted later. (Indian Express)

M and M


Meeting former President Rajapaksa in Colombo this afternoon.

Temple 1


Modi offers prayers at the Naguleswaram Temple, Jaffna.

Temple 2


Modi offers prayers at the Naguleswaram Temple, Jaffna.

Temple


Modi offers prayers at the Naguleswaram Temple, Jaffna.

Modi and hakeem

Sri Lanka Muslim Congress leaders meet Modi in Colombo.

Modi and CVW

Modi with Wigneswaran in Jaffna

Rayappu


Modi with Bishop Rayappu in Mannar

Mannar

Modi flags off Talaimannar-Mannar train service

CVW and Modi Pongal Temple 3