Colombo, May 12: At a time when the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party is trying its best to gain a foothold in Tamil Nadu politics, the ongoing two-day-long visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the neighbouring Sri Lanka holds great meaning.
On his second day in the island nation, PM Modi is set to address a large numbers of Indian-origin Tamil people in Norwood Grounds on Friday.
"The PM will then inaugurate the 15-bed Dickoya Hospital, a base hospital in the same province which has been built with Indian grant. The Prime Minister will also visit the hilly regions of Sri Lanka that host tea plantations. India will give an aid of $2.6 billion for the hospital. Sri Lanka's hilly regions home Indian Tamil people who work in tea plantains," stated an ANI report.
These meetings by PM Modi with Indian-origin Tamil people in the island nation hold great importance for the BJP's domestic politics in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, say political analysts.
The opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagham on Thursday asked PM Modi to ensure that the Indian-origin Tamils are treated at par with the Sinhalese of Sri Lanka and no disparities emerge between the two ethnic communities.
"I don't think this visit by the PM will do any good to the Tamils living in the island until they are treated at par with the Sri Lankan Sinhalese. Since they are also natives of Sri Lanka, there should not be any disparities between two ethnic communities. Only the Prime Minister can ensure that all entire citizens of Sri Lanka, including Tamils are treated at par," DMK leader TKS Elangovan told ANI.
The DMK has also asked PM Modi to talk on fishermen issue during his Sri Lanka visit with the government of the country.
"Our PM Modi is visiting Sri Lanka. Our leader Stalin has requested, rather demanded, the PM to use this visit and talk about the issues which are plaguing both the countries. Tamil Nadu fishermen have been repeatedly being shot at, killed, and boats being seized. Our leaders want permanent solution on this issue and hence, we request the PM to end this problem," DMK leader Sarvanan told ANI.
India has been pressing Sri Lanka for devolution of power to the Tamils as part of the reconciliation process. On the Tamil issue, Indian government maintains that India is working closely with the Sri Lankan government over it and hopeful that Colombo will fulfil the commitments made regarding devolution of power within the next two years.
During his first day visit to Sri Lanka, PM Modi was received by his Sri Lankan counterpart Ranil Wickremesinghe at the Colombo airport. They discussed various issues that concern with the growing cooperation between the two countries.
However, no MoUs were signed at the meeting.
If PM Modi can highlight the issues of Indian-origin Tamil people staying in the island nation during his Sri Lanka visit, back home he is surely going to win the hearts of many Tamilians in Tamil Nadu, as they share close bond with the Tamil fraternity in Sri Lanka.