Thursday, July 18, 2024

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President’s visit to India: Sampanthan writes to Modi urging fulfillment of commitments with regard to sharing powers of governance

By: Isuru Parakrama

Colombo (LNW): Leader of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP R. Sampanthan urged Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to fulfill the commitments made to India with regard to sharing powers of governance in the North-East provinces in Sri Lanka, subsequent to Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s pending arrival in New Delhi on July 21, 2023.

In a letter dated 17.07.2023, Sampanthan wrote that they firmly believe that the Tamil people’s safety, security, identity and existence as a Nation is inseparable from the national security of India, especially in its southern neighbourhood. Sadly, the twin purposes for which the Indo-Lanka Accord was signed, namely, the safety and security of the Tamil people and the security of India, remain elusive even after the lapse of 36 years, the TNA Leader emphasised.

“The Thirteen Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution was introduced after the Indo-Lanka Accord, establishing a provincial council system that envisaged devolution of powers to the provinces. But the Amendment was introduced into a Unitary Constitution making the exercise one of decentralisation instead of devolution, to which I along with my leaders, Messrs,” Sampanthan wrote.

In total disregard of the pious promises and repeated assurances on its part, the Sri Lankan State has not only failed to fulfill its commitments, but has also attempted to abort the implementation of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution by resisting brazenly the continuous demands for the devolution of land and police powers and by misappropriating powers already enjoyed by the provinces by legislative manipulations, he pointed out.

Accordingly, Sampanthan urged the Indian Prime Minister to prevail upon the President of Sri Lanka when he arrives in New Delhi on July 21, to fulfill the commitments made to India with regard to sharing powers of governance with the Tamil people of the North-East in Sri Lanka without any further delay.

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