Go beyond 13th amendment: India
Following the successful conclusion of the first-ever elections to the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) which the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) swept, India has asked Sri Lanka to fully implement the devolution package contained in the 13th Amendment (13A) of the Lankan Constitution, and even go beyond it to devolve more powers to the provinces to being about genuine ethnic reconciliation and lasting peace.
The Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement on Tuesday, that the will of the people of the Tamil-majority Northern Province had been reflected in the elections, and that India was looking “forward to the implementation by Government of Sri Lanka of other important commitments made to the international community, including the full implementation of the 13th Amendment and going beyond it.”
Welcoming the “positive statements” made by the TNA and the Government of Sri Lanka, the statement said, “It is indeed a matter of satisfaction that they have expressed willingness to work with each other for the progress of the people of the Northern Province. We would urge both sides to engage constructively, in a spirit of partnership and mutual accommodation, so that the urgent needs of the people of the Northern Province, which has recently emerged from the throes of a thirty-year long armed conflict, are addressed with a sense of urgency and purpose.”
Offering India’s cooperation to bring about ethnic reconciliation, it said, “The Government of India is committed to working with both the sides to further this process, so that all communities in Lanka, are equal stakeholders in a united Lanka and can look forward to a future marked by equality, justice and self-respect.”