Delegation wants India to vote against Rajapaksa regime at UNHRC meeting

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday reportedly stressed that there would be no compromise on Colombo’s promise to implement the 13th Amendment of the Sri Lankan Constitution which provides more powers to Tamil areas in Sri Lanka’s Northern and Eastern provinces.

Dr. Singh thus assured a delegation of Congress MPs from Tamil Nadu in Parliament House on Friday.

According to Congress Lok Sabha member from Cuddalore K.S. Alagiri, who was present at the meeting, the PM even quoted Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa as saying that his country would even implement “13 plus” (more than what was there in the amendment) for the welfare of Tamils.

The 13th Amendment, prepared on the basis of the 1987 agreement signed by Rajiv Gandhi and J.R. Jayawardene (Indo-Sri Lanka Accord), devolves as many as 37 powers to the island nation’s Northern and Eastern provinces. Largely drawing on the Indian federal set-up, it has three lists which detailed power-sharing between Colombo and the provinces. Broadly, it provided for a merger of and certain financial provisions of the two provinces. The provinces would have an elected council, a Chief Minister and Ministers.

Mr. Alagiri said the delegates urged Dr. Singh to ensure that India voted keeping Sri Lankan Tamils’ interests in mind when political resolutions are taken up at United Nations meetings. They said New Delhi must vote against the Rajapaksa government when a resolution is taken up at the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva next month regarding Colombo’s alleged human rights violations against Tamils.

The MPs wanted speedy implementation of the 13th Amendment and thanked Dr. Singh for notifying the final award of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal in the interests of TN farmers. E.M. Sudarsana Natchiappan, N.S.V. Chithan, Manicka Tagore, P. Viswanathan, M. Krishnaswamy and S.S. Ramasubbu, among others, made the delegation.

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