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Modi's Invitation To Leaders Of SAARC Countries

Second Editorial Of The Day

| by N.S.Venkataraman

( May 22, 2014, Chennai, Sri lanka Guardian) It is good that Narendra Modi has invited the leaders of the government in SAARC countries for the swearing in ceremony on 26th May at New Delhi. This invitation will go a long way in creating an atmosphere of mutual trust and good will between the neighbouring countries, which is the need of the day.

Both India and Pakistan have been having counter productive and wasteful confrontation for the last several decades ,which have caused economic problems and huge expenditure in maintaining army and buying weapons for both the countries. Only the arms suppliers and dealers around the world have gained by this situation.

While some political parties and narrow minded religious groups in both the countries may have vested interests in creating tension in relationships between these neighbours, there are many citizens both in India and Pakistan, who have voiced concern about such unnecessary creation of hatred and have called for building up good will between the citizens of both these countries. If India and Pakistan were to cooperate with mutual good will in the field of technology, commerce ,industry and culture , it would be a win win situation for the people of both India and Pakistan.

By inviting President of Pakistan for the swearing in ceremony, Narendra Modi has shown qualities of extraordinary statesmanship and vision , that would ensure proper climate for continuing progressive dialogue that can be built up in appropriate climate of peace and harmony. One only hopes that the President of Pakistan would respond for this invitation and attend the swearing in ceremony to take the relationship between both the countries forward.

It is unfortunate that some political parties in Tamil Nadu have criticised Narendra Modi for inviting Sri Lankan President and have threatened not to attend the swearing in ceremony. This is a negative and counter productive stance. The political parties in Tamil Nadu should realise that Narendra Modi has invited President of Sri Lanka and Rajapaksa has happened to be the President of Sri Lanka at the present time and therefore he is the invitee.

Further, to solve the problem of Sri Lankan Tamils, it is absolutely necessary that the channel of communication with the government of Sri Lanka should be kept open and cordial. Nothing will be gained for the Tamil people in Sri Lanka by Indian government adopting an attitude of confrontation.

The ground reality is that the Sri Lankan Tamils have to live in Sri Lanka and therefore, they have to respect the Sri Lankan constitution, Government of Sri Lanka and President of Sri Lanka. An atmosphere of trust , good will and harmony in Sri Lanka is the best guarantee for the Sri Lankan Tamils to progress and prosper.

It is true that Sri Lankan Tamils have suffered due to the internal war in Sri Lanka for many years. But, now , after the end of this counter productive war, Sri Lankan government has repeatedly assured the world community that the interests of Sri Lankan Tamils would be protected and they would be enabled to move on socially and economically. Provincial elections have been conducted successfully and new government has assumed charge in the Tamil region of Sri Lanka.

Government of India should continue to have dialogue with the Sri Lankan government to help the cause of the Tamil people in all possible ways and one can expect that the Sri Lankan government would respond to dialogue positively. Both Sri Lanka and India have historical and traditional relationships and share many things in common and both the countries should maintain healthy relationships with mutual respect.

It would be appropriate , if the President of Sri Lanka would accept the invitation of Narendra Modi, attend the swearing in ceremony and use this opportunity to reassure the Indian government as well as the government of Tamil Nadu about its policies and programmes to enable the Sri Lankan Tamils to live with dignity and honour and occupy the right place in Sri Lankan polity.

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