India has reiterated calls for the full implementation of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, including the devolution of powers.
During his meetings in Colombo, the Foreign Secretary of India, Shri Harsh Vardhan Shringla had reiterated India’s position on the complete implementation of the provisions under the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, including devolution of powers and the holding of Provincial Council elections at the earliest.
Shringla was in Sri Lanka on a 3-day Official visit from 02-05 October 2021. This was his first visit to Sri Lanka in his current capacity.
During the visit, Foreign Secretary called on the President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, Minister of Finance Basil Rajapaksa and the Minister of Foreign Affairs Prof. G.L. Peiris.
He also held meetings and discussions with the State Minister for Estate Housing and Community Infrastructure Jeevan Thondaman, Foreign Secretary Admiral (Retd) Prof. Jayanath Colombage and Defence Secretary General (Retd) G.D.H. Kamal Gunaratne.
“During his meeting with the President on October 05, 2021, Foreign Secretary underscored the importance India attaches to expeditiously taking forward mutually beneficial projects, including proposals to enhance air and sea connectivity between India and Sri Lanka. Foreign Secretary thanked President for his guidance and close cooperation in the defence and security sphere. Further, he reiterated India’s position on complete implementation of the provisions under the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, including devolution of powers and the holding of Provincial Council elections at the earliest,” the Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka said in a statement today.
In his meeting with the Prime Minister held on October 04, 2021, Foreign Secretary mentioned that India-Sri Lanka relations are underpinned by vibrant people-to-people ties which would be further strengthened with signing of the Inter-Governmental MoU for the USD 15 million Buddhism grant.
The meeting with the Minister of Finance focussed on the strong economic and commercial relations between India and Sri Lanka. In this connection, both sides agreed to make progress on joint projects, including those under the loan and grant assistance extended by India.
The Foreign Secretary held wide-ranging and comprehensive discussions with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Foreign Secretary on all areas of mutual interest, including on the need to face the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic together to mitigate its economic impact.
The Foreign Secretary also held meetings with the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) delegation led by Member of Parliament and Leader of the TNA R. Sampanthan, a Tamil Progressive Alliance (TPA) delegation led by Member of Parliament Mano Ganesan and a Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) delegation led by State Minister for Estate Housing and Community Infrastructure Jeevan Thondaman.
“The Foreign Secretary reiterated India’s longstanding support for the reconciliation that addresses aspirations of the Tamil community for equality, justice, peace and dignity within the united Sri Lanka and in accordance with the 13th Amendment,” the Indian High Commission said.
The High Commission said that the extensive and warm discussions held during the Foreign Secretary’s meetings with all interlocutors and the joint inauguration of development cooperation projects will impart further impetus to the close, friendly and mutually beneficial ties between India and Sri Lanka. (Colombo Gazette)