Expressing her concerns over Sri Lankan Government’s move to dilute or repeal the 13th Amendment to its Constitution, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Sunday wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to decisively take a bold stand in support of the Tamil minority.
She feared that the continuing resistance by the Mahinda Rajapaksa-led government could lead to a new influx of Tamil refugees from the island-nation to Tamil Nadu.
Urging the Central government to act “as a leader of the region and as a champion of human rights,” Ms. Jayalalithaa charged the Sri Lankan Government with acting with impunity to take away even the limited political rights available to the Tamils. She said the decision to make a Parliamentary Select Committee review the Amendment only paved the way for jettisoning or diluting it. She added that the move would happen before the elections to the Northern Provincial Council in September.
(This is not the first time the Chief Minister has written to the Prime Minister on the subject or targeted the Sri Lankan government. She has written repeatedly over the Sri Lankan government’s moves to jettison the 13th Amendment, incorporated after the Indo-Sri Lankan Accord of 1987. It provides limited self-governing powers to the Island nation’s nine provinces, including the Tamil minority-dominated Northern parts.) Ms. Jayalalithaa recalled that the Assembly passed a resolution on March 27 calling for a referendum on a “separate Eelam” among Tamils in Sri Lanka and Tamils displaced and resident in other countries.