India stated that its external affairs minister called on Sri Lanka’s new president Gotabaya Rajapaksa to “reconciliation to arrive at a solution that meets the aspirations of the Tamil community for equality, justice, peace and dignity,” after the two met in Colombo earlier this week.
India’s Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar told a press conference that,
“External Affairs Minister conveyed to President Rajapaksa, India’s expectation that the Sri Lankan government will take forward the process of national reconciliation to arrive at a solution that meets the aspirations of the Tamil community for equality, justice, peace and dignity”.
His statement was welcomed by the leader of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) R. Sampanthan, who said his party looks forward to “working with both, the Sri Lankan and Indian governments to ensure there is a reasonable solution to our national question, based on substantial power sharing, within the framework of a united, undivided, indivisible Sri Lanka”.
M.A. Sumanthiran, another senior TNA leader, recalled the 1987 Indo-Lanka Accord, stating that it “provided for meaningful power devolution to the Tamils”.
“The previous Mahinda Rajapaksa administration assured India at least thrice in writing to fully implement the 13th Amendment and even go beyond it but did not deliver,” he added.
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Gotabaya Rajapaksa is due to visit India at the end of his month, his first overseas trip as Sri Lanka’s president.