Basil to meet Kurshid

Minister Basil Rajapaksa will hold talks with the Indian leadership over the government’s controversial plan to tinker with the India-moved thirteenth amendment (13A), the Press Trust of India reported.
Basil Rajapaksa, a key political adviser to the President, will leave Colombo on July 4.
Basil was quoted as saying that he would be meeting External Affairs Minister Salman Kurshid and National Security Advisor Shivashankar Menon.
“I will brief them on the political situation including matters relating to the proposed amendments to the thirteenth amendment”, he said.
Analysts say Indian pressure has forced Colombo to retain the 13A sans amendments until the conclusion of the northern provincial council elections scheduled for September.
Khurshid in a phone conversation with his Sri Lankan counterpart G L Peiris in May had stressed that Colombo should not unilaterally move against the 13A.
The younger Rajapaksa visit comes in the backdrop of a visit to New Delhi by the main Tamil party Tamil National Alliance (TNA) which opposed the government plans at the behest of its nationalist allies to dilute 13A.
The tinkering of the 13A, a by product of the Indo-Sri Lankan Accord of July 1987 to try and resolve the ethnic conflict, is being attempted ahead of the provincial council elections in Tamil-dominated northern areas in September.
TNA has said it will not take part in the proposed Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) proceedings to review the 13A, saying it has been convened to strip provincial council of powers.
A senior TNA legislator, Suresh Premachandran, said his party has decided to skip the PSC proceedings, which is expected to get underway on July 9.


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