The Central Governing Council of Vishwa Hindu Parishad, which met in Banswara, Rajasthan, from July 19 to 20, urged the Government of Sri Lanka to make proper arrangements for the resettlement of internally-displaced persons, reconstruct the damaged temples and places of worship. “This meeting urges the Government of Sri Lanka to expedite the resettlement of over 3,00,000 internally-displaced persons in the Wanni area and also those other displaced people languishing in other places, in their original native habitats. Since the humanitarian crisis in the affected areas has been building up, we strongly feel it is very essential for the Government of Sri Lanka to accord a safe passage to those affected in order that such civilian population may be resettled in their original homes,” said a resolution unanimously adopted at the meeting.
In this connection, the meeting noted with satisfaction that the Governments of Sri Lanka and India have agreed upon a 180-day time schedule to resettle these people back at their original places of habitation and as part of the resettlement activities urgent attention is being focussed on basic amenities, civil infrastructure as well as providing of means of livelihood to resume the normal lives. “We also note that the Government of India has committed to provide all possible assistance to the implementation of the plan to resettle the people including de-mining, providing of civil infrastructure and re-construction of damaged or destroyed houses. We also note that the Government of India, in its recent Central Budget, has allocated an amount of Indian Rs. 5 billion to meet the commitments it made. In this connection, it is our fervent hope and wish that the Government of Sri Lanka would make conditions conducive for the return of all refugees who have been forced to obtain relief in foreign countries. We also call upon the Government of India to appreciate its moral responsibility in ensuring the proper rehabilitation of the displaced people,” the resolution added.
The meeting also urged the Government of Sri Lanka to initiate early necessary steps to rebuild about 1,400 temples and holy places of worship in Sri Lanka that got damaged during the last 30 years of conflict in the island nation. Those temples and places of worship were centres of reverence for Hindus and Buddhists alike and central to the life of both. “It is our fervent hope and desire that the Government of Sri Lanka would appreciate the need to rebuild these places of worship since such a gesture would be a harmonising step in the right direction. Considering the emerging political landscape in Sri Lanka this meeting does resolve and urges the Government of Sri Lanka that it should in furtherance of a realistic approach to the problems of the people of the North and East of Sri Lanka, fully implement the 13th and 16th Amendments to the Sri Lankan Constitution which are already law in Sri Lanka since it would be a significant step to bring about a lasting political solution to the ethnic problem in Sri Lanka. These amendments entails considerable devolution of powers to the provinces in the island nation. It is our considered view that ultimate solution to the ethnic problem lies not in the military successes but in the proper devolution of power and achieving peace. The initial steps for such devolution of power were laid by the Indo-Sri Lankan peace accord in 1987, consequent to which the 13th Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution was enacted. This amendment and the 16th Amendment, which are already law in Sri Lanka, should be effectively implemented taking into consideration the recommendations of the majority members of the Tissa Vitharane All Party Recommendations’ Committee. Government of India should also ensure the proper implementation of the amendment 13th and 16th to the Constitution of Sri Lanka,” the resolution said.
In another resolution on Hinglaj Shaktipeeth (Pakistan), the meeting demanded the Government of Pakistan to scrap the Hingol Dam Project in Lasbela district of Baluchistan (Pakistan) that threatens to submerge the ancient Hinglaj Teerth and also demanded the Government of India to convince the Government of Pakistan to do so.
The meeting thanked the Members of the Baluchistan Legislative Assembly for being aware of the importance of the Hinglaj shrine (Badrinath Hinglaj Devi Mandir is one among fifty-two shaktipeeth) famous throughout history as “Maruteerth Hinglaj” (desert shrine Hinglaj) and opposing the proposed construction of Hingol Dam in Lasbela district by the federal Government of Pakistan and unanimously moving and adopting a resolution against the inevitable submergence of the historic Hindu shrine “Hinglaj Mata” and the destruction of the already fragile eco-system and wildlife of the Hingol National Park in the proposed dam’s reservoir. The misconceived project would also displace the local Baluch tribal population that has been protective of the ancient shrine since times immemorial.
Hundreds of thousands of Hindu pilgrims from all over the world visit the ancient temple in April every year. With the construction of the dam the cave temple will get submerged and also all roads leading to the site would be blocked. The project would hurt the religious sentiments of over one billion Hindus of the world including those few that still manage to live in Pakistan. Hinglaj is moreover an ancient heritage of mankind and all heritage-lovers of the world should also come forward to save it. “This meeting demands that the Government of India should initiate a dialogue with its Pakistani counterpart to notify Hinglaj along with the Hingol National Park as a “holy pilgrimage site and protected historic heritage”, develop it and make the shrine accessible to pilgrims and devotees from all over the world on the lines of Ajmer Shariff (Ajmer), Haji Ali Dargah (Mumbai), Hazrat Nijamuddin Auliya (Delhi), etc., in India, which are easily accessible to the devotees from around the world,” the resolution said. The resolution also urged the Hindu society, environmentalists, ecologists and heritage-lovers of the world to remain exercised to vehemently oppose if Pakistani authorities go ahead with the misconceived Hingol Dam Project at the present location without addressing the worldwide concerns to save the Hinglaj Teerth and the Hingol National Park.
Coming down heavily on Muslim appeasement policies of the UPA government the meeting opposed the expansion of Aligarh Muslim University. In another resolution the meeting also expressed concern over the violent activities in NC Hills of Assam.