Sri Lankan delegation meets PM

A six-member delegation of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) from Sri Lanka met PM Manmohan Singh on Tuesday.

Updated: Jun 18, 2013, 23:17 PM IST

New Delhi: India Tuesday expressed dismay over reported Sri Lankan plans to dilute key provisions of the 13th Amendment to its Constitution ahead of the elections in the Northern Provincial Council saying it raised doubts about its commitments to the international community on a political settlement of the Tamil problem.

The remarks were made by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh when a six-member delegation of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) from Sri Lanka called on him here.

"The Prime Minister conveyed to the TNA delegation 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," Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson said in a statement.

He said that 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.

"The changes would also be incompatible with the recommendation of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), set up by the Government of Sri Lanka, calling for a political settlement based on the devolution of power to the provinces," the statement said.

The Prime Minister stated that he was deeply concerned about the welfare and well-being of the Tamil community in Sri Lanka.
"He stressed on the expectation that the Sri Lankan Tamil community would lead a life of dignity, as equal citizens, and reiterated that India would make every effort to ensure the achievement of a future for the community marked by equality, justice and self-respect," the spokesperson said.

The six-member TNA delegation is visiting India from June 16-19.
The delegation is led by R Sampanthan, MP, and consists of lawmakers Mavai S Senathirajah, K (Suresh) Premachandran, P Selvarajah, Selvam Adaikkalanathan and M A Sumanthiran. A TNA delegation had also visited India in October 2012.

The TNA delegation had earlier called on the External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid and and the National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon.