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Sri Lanka assures India of devolving powers to Tamils

Colombo, Tue, 17 Jan 2012 ANI

Colombo, Jan 17 (ANI): Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister, G L Peiris assured the Indian External Affairs Minister S M Krishna, who is currently on a visit to the emerald island nation that he would be talking to the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) in a bid to devolve power to the island's minority Tamils at a district rather than higher level.


He disclosed this while addressing a joint news conference with S M Krishna at Colombo on Tuesday.


Peiris said that the Sri Lankan Government had urged TNA to send the names of their representatives to hold constructive talks with them to resolve the issue.


"The government has requested the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) to participate in the deliberations of the parliamentary select committee which has not been constituted as yet and it cannot be constituted because the TNA is not sending in their names. We would like to make the talks constructive and purposeful by requesting the TNA to send in the names of their representatives without delay," said Peiris.


Reacting on this issue, Krishna said that the constant talks between the Sri Lankan Government and TNA would help in resolving the matter soon.


He also said that the Sri-Lankan president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, had assured him that he is commited to devolving powers to Tamils by pursuing the 13th amendment to the constitution. S M Krishna who had a breakfast meeting with President Rajapaksawas assured that Sri Lanka would pursue the 13th Amendment which would meet the genuine aspiration of Tamils.


"We believe that continuation of the dialogue between the government and the TNA would pave the way for political settlement including under the rubric of the parliamentary select committee. I discussed this matter with Excellency the President this morning. The President assured me that he stands by his commitment to pursuing the 13th amendment plus approach," said Indian Foreign Minister Somanahalli Mallaiah Krishna.


The 13th Amendment to Sri Lankan Constitution had foreseen devolution of powers to the native ethnic Tamilians and thus pave the way to fulfil their aspirations. (ANI)


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