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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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NRIs Cheered for PM Modi

He profusely praised Prime Minister Modi for his all-round developmental plans and policies

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Indian, Diaspora, PM
The US President Donald Trump himself flew in to jazz up the occasion.

BY SALIL GEWALI

Americans’ love for the Indians and Indians’ love for America was fully on display at Howdy Modi’s event in Houston last Sunday. The US President Donald Trump himself flew in to jazz up the occasion. He profusely praised Prime Minister Modi for his all-round developmental plans and policies. He further widened PM Modi’s chest by calling him a fatherly figure of India, and also a crowd puller like Elvis Presley. President Trump very well knows how to talk shop. However, Trump sincerely hopes that the event will help strengthen the relation of the two nations, and much more than ever before. PM.

A huge crowd of 50 thousand roaring and cheering for Modi is something which President Trump thought his “presence” would top up the Howdy Modi’s cake which will equally nourish both. Not surprisingly, Modi began his speech by saying — “I have the honour to introduce you to my family”, pointedly aiming at the entire leaders and influential capitalists in the USA who employ the “cream” of the entire Indian population. On the other hand, President Trump clearly expressed his “pride” having the core “strength of Indian” in America. PM Modi is seemingly looking to exploit India’s strength in America and build new India in every possible way. This is probably his new dream. The passion of event pitched up so high that euphoric Modi impulsively yelled – “Abki Baar Trump Sarkar”. This must have caused heartburn to many people, and more to those running for the 2020 Presidential election.

Indian, Diaspora, PM
Americans’ love for the Indians and Indians’ love for America was fully on display at Howdy Modi’s event in Houston last Sunday.

To organize an event of this magnitude involves a lot of managerial skills and concerted efforts. Everything came off perfectly well in Houston — undoubtedly, due to the synergies of the efforts of dedicated NRIs and a huge amount of monetary contributions that generous diaspora had pitched in. What is very obvious is the people were emotionally involved to make the event grand, some were tied down for the past three months. Here why people love PM Modi so much is, in fact, no small thing though we just pass off – no matter which political party he belongs to. One believes he is the only leader who receives such kind of welcome and hospitality wherever he visits. This in fact should make other world leaders think seriously why Modi is so much idolized by the masses. Whether it has logical basis or not. No exaggeration, what it all that attracts people to him is something to be made a case study. If nothing, Modi’s simplicity, his inborn humility, uprightness, and incorruptible aptitudes must be the prime reasons that fascinate the right-thinking people.

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Here what really surprises us is that the man with righteous principle and integrity also has a huge number of sworn enemies. Those enemies are totally blind and deaf to Modi’s virtues. No amount of Modi’s sacrifices for the country make them happy and appreciative. They hold forth thousands of faults in Modi while never hesitating to appreciate and stand for the corruptible oddballs as their leaders. They also tend to look upon those unscrupulous persons for their inspiration — maybe for knowledge and moral too, lol! This is nothing but the sickness of this civilization. One sees this as one of the worst maladies of modern times.

Salil Gewali is a well-known writer and author of ‘Great minds on India’. Twitter: @SGewali