“Open for talks on 13th Amendment” – President

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Colombo, Lankapuvath) – In an exclusive interview to The Hindu, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has stated that he is open for a dialogue with the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) on the implementation of the 13th Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution, which devolves more powers to provinces in the island nation.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa denied reports that he was upset about the meeting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had with six leaders of the Tamil majority North and Eastern provinces. It was their right in a democracy “to meet anyone”, he said.

President Rajapaksa hoped to meet Indian Prime Minister on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, if their schedules permitted, later this month. According to officials, President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi schedules would overlap for a day and efforts were on to find time for a meeting.

In the interview, President Rajapaksa stressed that he was grateful for India’s stand on the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) vote, where New Delhi refused to endorse the demand for an inquiry by an international agency into allegations of “war crimes” by the Sri Lankan Army against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in 2009. “Our Government is conducting local investigations, but we won’t allow them to internationalize it”, President Rajapaksa said.

“The next time United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) will say that there must be an international inquiry into Kashmir. What would be our position? Whether it is against India or Sri Lanka, we will not allow an external inquiry”, President Mahinda Rajapaksa stated.

Source: The Hindu

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