While outlining the speaking factors, the Sri Lankan Prime Minister’s statement made no point out of justice and post-war reconciliation.
Hours after India and Sri Lanka issued a joint statement referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s name to the Sri Lankan authorities to deal with the Tamil minority’s aspirations, with the implementation of the 13th Amendment, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa’s workplace launched a statement on Saturday, making no point out of Mr. Modi’s name, or the constitutional provision on energy devolution.
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Mr. Rajapaksa’s statement, following the leaders’ digital meet on Saturday, centered on Sri Lanka’s response to the coronavirus pandemic that has drawn worldwide reward. While outlining the speaking factors of their dialogue — reminiscent of improvement, geopolitics, financial system, protection and tourism —it was silent on justice and post-war reconciliation that stay delicate points to some within the southern Sinhala-Buddhist constituency, who worry energy devolution would possibly result in separatism and justice would possibly goal the armed forces, who’re accused of battle crimes.
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Though PM Rajapaksa, throughout his time as President for a decade from 2005, had assured India and the worldwide neighborhood on a number of events that he would “go beyond” the 13th Amendment to make sure “meaningful devolution’, as a means of arriving at a political solution to Sri Lanka’s national question, he is yet to implement the promise. Saturday’s joint statement sparked interest for its explicit reference to the 13th Amendment, that too at a time when some in the Rajapaksa administration are calling for its abolition.
While the joint statement indicated that both Colombo and New Delhi were agreeable to the mention, the omission in PM Rajapaksa’s own statement that came hours later did not go unnoticed. Popular weekend newspaper Sunday Times carried a front page report titled ‘Lanka avoids any 13-A commitment at Rajapaksa-Modi summit’.
Meanwhile, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), a prominent grouping of Tamil parties, welcomed the joint statement by India and Sri Lanka. Tweeting from its official handle, the TNA said: “We welcome PM Modi calling on Sri Lanka to address the aspirations of the Tamil people for equality, justice, peace and respect within a united SL including by carrying forward the process of reconciliation with implementation of constitutional provisions.”