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Rediff.com  » News » Ensure dignity, respect for Tamils, implement 13A, Modi tells Ranil

Ensure dignity, respect for Tamils, implement 13A, Modi tells Ranil

Source: PTI
July 21, 2023 20:31 IST
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday conveyed to Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe India's expectations from Colombo to fulfill the aspirations of the Tamil community in the island nation and ensure a life of respect and dignity for it.

IMAGE: Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, New Delhi, July 21, 2023. Photograph: Courtesy MEAIndia on Twitter

The issue figured prominently in the wide-ranging talks between Modi and Wickremesinghe, with the prime minister highlighting the need for the implementation of the 13th Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution.

The Tamil community in Sri Lanka has been demanding the implementation of the 13th Amendment that provides for devolution of power to it. The 13th amendment was brought in after the Indo-Sri Lankan agreement of 1987.

In his media statement after the talks, Wickremesinghe said he shared with Modi the "comprehensive proposal" he presented this week for "furthering reconciliation, power sharing through devolution and the multiple elements of the Northern development plan".

 

"We also talked about reconstruction and reconciliation in Sri Lanka. President Wickremesinghe told me about his inclusive approach," Modi said.

"We hope that the government of Sri Lanka will fulfill the aspirations of the Tamils; will drive the process of rebuilding for equality, justice and peace; will fulfill its commitment to implement the 13th Amendment and conduct the provincial council elections," he said.

"And will ensure a life of respect and dignity for the Tamil community of Sri Lanka," Modi said.

Talking about the 75th anniversary of India-Lanka diplomatic ties, Modi announced implementing various projects worth Rs 75 crore for the Indian-origin Tamil citizens of Sri Lanka.

"Also, the Indian-origin Tamil community is completing 200 years of its arrival in Sri Lanka. I am happy to say that on this occasion, various projects worth Rs 75 crore will be implemented for the Indian-origin Tamil citizens of Sri Lanka," Modi said.

"Along with this, India will also contribute to the development programmes in the northern and eastern region of Sri Lanka," he said.

Wickremesinghe said he shared with Modi his comprehensive proposals for reconciliation, power-sharing through devolution, and the Northern development plan.

"I also shared with him the comprehensive proposal I presented this week for furthering reconciliation, power sharing through devolution and the multiple elements of the Northern development plan," the president said.

"I have invited all party leaders in parliament to work towards consensus and national unity on these measures. Thereafter the government will place the relevant legislation before parliament," he added.

Wickremesinghe said Modi has "expressed his solidarity and goodwill in these endeavours."

At a media briefing, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said Modi raised the issue of aspirations of Tamil people in Sri Lanka and reiterated India's consistent position regarding full implementation of 13th Amendment.

The foreign secretary said Modi conveyed that India continues to look forward to a political solution that addresses the aspirations of the Tamil community for equality, justice, self-respect within the framework of a united and prosperous Sri Lanka.

He said meaningful devolution of powers and full implementation of the 13th Amendment are essential components of facilitating the reconciliation process.

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