India dismayed over Sri Lanka's move

India dismayed over Sri Lanka's move

India on Tuesday expressed dismay over Sri Lankan government’s purported move to dilute the 13th Amendment of the island nation’s Constitution that had sought to devolve more powers to the provincial legislatures.

 

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told a delegation of Tamil National Alliance (TNA) of Sri Lanka (SL) that he was “dismayed by reports suggesting that the government of Sri Lanka planned to dilute certain key provisions of the 13th Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution ahead of elections to the Northern Provincial Council.”

At a time when the Rajapaksa government is purportedly making attempts to dilute the 13th amendment of the Constitution, the TNA–the main Tamil political party in Sri Lanka–sent a six-member delegation to New Delhi.

Singh’s tough talk on SL’s bid to dilute the 13th Amendment came after Dravida Munnethra Kazhagam (DMK) chief M Karunanidhi wrote to him stressing that New Delhi should speak up against attempts being made by Colombo. 

The DMK quit the ruling Congress-led United Progressive Alliance in March, protesting against New Delhi’s alleged soft stance on the plight of Tamils and human rights violations in SL.

The TNA delegation led by parliamentarian R Sampanthan called on the prime minister on Tuesday. According to a press-release issued by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) after the meeting, it was noted that the “proposed changes raised doubts about the commitments made by the Sri Lankan government to India and the international community, including the United Nations, on a political settlement in Sri Lanka that would go beyond the 13th Amendment.”  
 
According to the MEA, the prime minister noted that changes would also be incompatible with the recommendation of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), set up by the SL government, calling for a political settlement based on the devolution of powers to the provinces.

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