Following is the full text of the joint press statement issued by Sri RVS Marimuthu and Dr ML Raja, Sanghachalaks of RSS South and North Tamil Nadu, on February 10.
The ongoing war between the Sri Lankan Army and the Tamil rebels in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka has attracted global attention. It has been viewed in India with particular concern because of the news that more than 2.5 lakh Tamil civilians have got trapped in the war zone. Already, news of civilian casualties in large numbers in the last few weeks of the war has triggered widespread anguish and anxiety in India in general and in Tamil Nadu in particular. It may be remembered that as two sovereign nations, India and Sri Lanka share an ethnic and cultural bond that dates back to millennia. People of both countries, especially the Tamils on both sides, have had close family and personal linkages.
Terrorism, in any form and under any disguise, is not acceptable in the modern democratic world. However, while tackling terror it must be ensured that the human cost of the war is minimal. Of particular concern is the situation of the civilians trapped in the battle-zones. News and pictures of the Northern Province of Sri Lanka clearly suggest that a large number of innocent civilians have been seriously affected by this war. Many lost their lives while many more were grievously injured.
The RSS appeals to the Sri Lankan Government that while delivering its sovereign responsibility of waging the war on terror, it must do its best to ensure that the life and limb of the civilian Tamil population is zealously protected. It also must do everything to safeguard the civil and political rights of the Tamils who are verily nationals of Sri Lanka and so must be treated as equal citizens.
It is time the Indian Government acted proactively and did utmost to ensure that the lives and rights of the civilian and loyal Tamil population of the Northern Sri Lanka are protected.