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Sri Lankan diaspora to strengthen moderate voices with India

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Colombo: The Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora is seeking a dialogue with the Indian government in an effort to strengthen the moderate voices within the Diaspora as well as in Sri Lanka.

In an interview with a newspaper, spokesperson of the London-based Global Tamil Forum, Suren Surendiran has said that India should urgently open a formal dialogue with Lankan Tamil diaspora groups to strengthen moderate voices at this critical juncture in the reconciliation process.

“This, we believe in turn will strengthen the collective moderate stands within and outside Sri Lanka,” Surendiran added.

He has pointed out that India’s Modi government has course corrected from being subdued and reactionary to being proactively taking the regional leadership role and the diplomatic engagement with Sri Lanka is now at a different scale than before.

“Since President Sirisena has taken over with a mandate to resolve the Tamil issue, India has been encouraging Sri Lanka to progress,” he said.

Surendiran noted that the new government of President Maithripala Sirisena has unlisted GTF and other member organizations that were listed as proscribed organizations by the Rajapaksa Regime and Minister of Foreign Affairs has met members of GTF at several meetings last year.

“The new government of Sri Lanka acknowledges the Diaspora as an important stakeholder. GTF has constructively engaged with the various stakeholders in Sri Lanka including the new government,” he said.

He said the Diaspora has also recognized the positive steps the government has taken to address certain immediate concerns of the Tamil people, such as removing of military Governors and appointing civilians as Governors for the Northern and Eastern Provinces, transferring of small sections of land back to the rightful owners, releasing of a few Tamil political detainees and the review of the proscription of Tamil diaspora individuals and entities.

“Though limited in scope, collectively, they are still significant,” Surendiran said adding that however, several issues remain to be resolved. The diaspora leader added that “Government of Sri Lanka must up the game and deliver faster”.(input from agencies)

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FIFA World Cup 2018: Indian Cuisine becomes the most sought after in Moscow

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Indian cuisine in FIFA World cup
Indian dishes available in Moscow during FIFA World Cup 2018, representational image, wikimedia commons

June 17, 2018:

Restaurateurs Prodyut and Sumana Mukherjee have not only brought Indian cuisine to the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018 here but also plan to dish out free dinner to countrymen if Argentina wins the trophy on July 15.

Based in Moscow for the last 27 years, Prodyut and Sumana run two Indian eateries, “Talk Of The Town” and “Fusion Plaza”.

You may like to read more on Indian cuisine: Indian ‘masala’, among other condiments spicing up global food palate.

Both restaurants serve popular Indian dishes like butter chicken, kebabs and a varied vegetarian spread.

During the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

The Mukherjees, hailing from Kolkata, are die-hard fans of Argentina. Despite Albiceleste drawing 1-1 with Iceland in their group opener with Lionel Messi failing to sparkle, they believe Jorge Sampaoli’s team can go the distance.

“I am an Argentina fan. I have booked tickets for a quarterfinal match, a semifinal and of course the final. If Argentina goes on to lift

During the World Cup, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

FIFA World Cup 2018 Russia
FIFA World Cup 2018, Wikimedia Commons.

“We have been waiting for this World Cup. Indians come in large numbers during the World Cup and we wanted these eateries to be a melting point,” he added.

According to Cutting Edge Events, FIFA’s official sales agency in India for the 2018 World Cup, India is amongst the top 10 countries in terms of number of match tickets bought.

Read more about Indian cuisine abroad: Hindoostane Coffee House: London’s First Indian Restaurant.

Prodyut came to Moscow to study engineering and later started working for a pharmaceutical company here before trying his hand in business. Besides running the two restaurants with the help of his wife, he was into the distribution of pharmaceutical products.

“After Russia won the first match of the World Cup, the footfall has gone up considerably. The Indians are also flooding in after the 6-9 p.m. game. That is the time both my restaurants remain full,” Prodyut said.

There are also plans to rope in registered fan clubs of Latin American countries, who will throng the restaurants during matches and then follow it up with after-game parties till the wee hours.

“I did get in touch with some of the fan clubs I had prior idea about. They agreed to come over and celebrate the games at our joints. Those will be gala nights when both eateries will remain open all night for them to enjoy,” Prodyut said.

Watching the World Cup is a dream come true for the couple, Sumana said.

“We want to make the Indians who have come here to witness the spectacle and feel at home too. We always extend a helping hand and since we are from West Bengal, we make special dishes for those who come from Bengal,” she added. (IANS)