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S Jaishankar bats for dignity, equality to Sri Lankan Tamils

Jaishankar said that India's support for the reconciliation process in Sri Lanka is longstanding for an inclusive political outlook that encourages ethnic harmony.

Published: 06th January 2021 06:43 PM  |   Last Updated: 07th January 2021 08:16 AM   |  A+A-

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar with his Sri Lankan counterpart Dinesh Gunawardena after a joint media briefing in Colombo Wednesday | PTI

Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, who is on a three-day visit to Sri Lanka, on Wednesday urged Colombo to meet the aspirations of the Tamil community in the country and called for greater devolution of powers.

“Our support for the reconciliation process in Sri Lanka is longstanding, as indeed for an inclusive political outlook that encourages ethnic harmony. It is in Sri Lanka’s own interest that the expectations of the Tamil people for equality, justice, peace and dignity within a united Sri Lanka are fulfilled,” Jaishankar said at a joint press conference with Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena. 

“That applies equally to the commitments made by the Sri Lankan government on meaningful devolution, including the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. The progress and prosperity of Sri Lanka will surely be advanced as a consequence,” he added.

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Jaishankar said this message signifies the importance Prime Minister Narendra Modi  and the NDA government give to the aspirations to the Sri Lankan Tamil community. Modi was the first the PM to visit Jaffna. “In his tenure, India has undertaken numerous efforts, including housing projects and cultural restoration for the Tamil community in Sri Lanka,” he said. 

The Tamil issue was also discussed by Modi during his virtual summit with his Sri Lankan counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa in September last year. New Delhi had urged Colombo for the full implementation of the 13th amendment, an outcome of the 1987 India-Sri Lanka peace accord aimed at devolving more powers to the Tamils. The EAM also said several initiatives were discussed relating to cooperation in various fields, including infrastructure, connectivity.

Pompeo hails EAM for strengthening Indo-US ties
New Delhi : Outgoing US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has heaped praises on External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, calling him a great diplomat and leader who has helped relations between the two countries to become all the stronger. “The U.S.-India relationship was made all the stronger with a great diplomat and leader as my friend. Thank you @Jaishankar. #HowdyModi #ModiHaitoMumkinHai,” the secretary of state tweeted. Pompeo and Jaishankar are known to have frequent telephonic conversations and exchange views on regional, bilateral and global issues.



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