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Top Tamil diaspora leader visits Sri Lanka for talks

Thursday, September 21, 2017

A top leader of the Tamil diaspora is in Sri Lanka for the first time since a ban on him and his organisation was lifted. Global Tamil Forum (GTF) President, Father S. J. Emmanuel had talks in Colombo and Jaffna during his visit.

Among those he met was the US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Atul Keshap.

“Pleased that Father Emmanuel is striving to secure lasting equality, peace, justice, & happiness for all in a united, reconciled #SriLanka,” the US Ambassador tweeted.

Father S. J. Emmanuel was among 400 individuals and organisations listed by the former Government over alleged links to the LTTE.
The current Government lifted the ban and initiated talks to obtain the support of the Tamil diaspora to reconcile and rebuild the communities in the country following the war.

Father Emmanuel has been in self-exile since 1997 after the then Government accused him of supporting terrorism.

He had said the allegations even damaged his personal standing as a Catholic priest including through false accusations in the website of the Defence Ministry when it was under the then Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.

Colombo Gazette