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No assurance on devolution: Sri Lanka tells India

Sri Lanka did not give any assurance to India on devolution of powers to provinces when an Indian MPs delegation met President Mahinda Rajapaksa on April 21, media here has claimed.

April 25, 2012 / 07:12 PM IST

Sri Lanka did not give any assurance to India on devolution of powers to provinces when an Indian MPs delegation met President Mahinda Rajapaksa on April 21, media here has claimed.


The pro-government 'The Island' newspaper quoted Rajapaksa as telling "government sources" that during his meeting with Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj he had not given any assurance to implement the 13th amendment plus, which grants some powers to provinces.


Swaraj, who led a 12-member delegation on a six-day visit to Sri Lanka, told reporters in Colombo that "the president himself spoke on the 13th amendment". 'The Island', which is being seen as close to the Sri Lankan president, reports that Rajapaksa had recalled during his meeting with the Indian delegation how India had forced the 13th amendment on the then President J R Jayawardene.


The amendment which introduced the system of provincial councils as devolved administrations was adopted in 1987 as a direct result of the Indo-Lanka Accord of July 1987 between Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Jayawardene.


Rajapaksa, the paper said, was relying on the parliamentary select committee proposal in order to arrive at a solution acceptable to all stake holders in the island's conflict. The Island further quotes the sources as saying that an attempt was being made to pressurise Colombo over the devolution process in the backdrop of India's anti-Sri Lanka vote at the UN Human Rights Council resolution in March.

India, The Island says, had sought an assurance from Sri Lanka on the 13th amendment leading to the UNHRC vote. Sri Lanka had promised devolution of powers to meet the aspirations of ethnic Tamils.

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