BJP wants respect for Tamils

India’s main opposition BJP, while recognising the “improvement” in the situation in Jaffna, urged President Mahinda Rajpakse to ensure that the Tamils of North were given “respect, dignity and equality.”Anticipating its return to power in 2014, the Bharatiya Janata Party has stepped up its engagement with neighbouring countries, expanding political links and conveying its core messages. Ravi Shankar Prasad, BJP’s Deputy Leader in the Rajya Sabha and chairman of the party’s working group on neighbouring countries told The Hindu that the BJP has substantial commonality of views on Sri Lanka with the Indian government. Ravi Shankar Prasad concluded a three-day visit to Nepal this weekend. The visit came a little over two months after his trip to Sri Lanka. These countries were chosen, for they were “traditional Indian friends,” and the aim was “to cement ties” and “articulate concerns.” A common theme of Mr. Prasad’s visits to both Kathmandu and Colombo was a message to the political leadership that while the BJP respected Nepal’s and Sri Lanka’s right to have ties with China, there were certain redlines. “Friendship with Beijing should not, and cannot, be at the cost of India. It cannot compromise India’s strategic interests.

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