Indian PM, EAM condole demise of Sri Lanka’s top Tamil lawmaker


Colombo, July 1 (IANS) Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday condoled the death of R. Sampanthan, one of the seniormost Tamil politicians in Sri Lanka, and also the leader of Tamil National Alliance (TNA).

“My deepest condolences to the family and friends of veteran TNA leader R. Sampanthan. Will always cherish fond memories of meetings with him,” the Indian PM wrote in a message posted on X.

“He relentlessly pursued a life of peace, security, equality, justice and dignity for the Tamil nationals of Sri Lanka. He will be deeply missed by his friends and followers in Sri Lanka and India,” added PM Modi.

External Affairs Minister of India, S. Jaishankar too sent his condolences on the demise of Sampanthan, who maintained close contacts with India and Indian leaders.

“Deeply saddened to hear about the passing away of Sri Lankan Tamil leader Shri R. Sampanthan,” said Jaishankar.

“Recall my many meetings and conversations with him over several decades. He dedicated his entire life fighting for the equality, dignity and justice for Tamils in Sri Lanka,” the EAM mentioned.

Sampanthan, 91, passed away on Sunday night while undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Colombo.

One of the longest-serving lawmakers in Sri Lanka, Sampanthan was elected to the parliament from the Eastern district of Trincomalee in 1977.

With the TNA having the second-highest number of MPs, Sampanthan was the Opposition leader of the country’s Parliament from 2015 to December 2018. He remained an MP for 23 straight years since entering the Parliament in 2001.



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