Keep word on political settlement: India tells Sri Lanka

Colombo, July 9 (IANS) India has told Sri Lanka to adhere to the commitments made by its government to the international community on a political settlement in the island nation, the Indian High Commission here said Tuesday.

India's National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon, who ended a two-day visit to the country Tuesday, met government officials and opposition leaders, Xinhua reported.

Menon also discussed plans by the government to amend a clause in the constitution which was part of a 1987 agreement between India and Sri Lanka.

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa told Menon that most of the points in the 13th Amendment to the constitution will be implemented.

The 13th Amendment was made when India intervened in 1987 to end the conflict between the Sri Lankan government and Tamil outfits who fought for a separate country for their community.

However, Rajapaksa said there were issues in the clause dealing with land and police powers to the provinces and that needs to be addressed by a parliament committee.

Menon also met opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and leaders of minority parties, the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress and the Tamil National Alliance separately.

The Indian High Commission in Colombo said Menon conveyed to the Sri Lankan leadership India's views on the recent political developments.

Menon called for early political settlement and national reconciliation through the meaningful devolution of power so as to ensure that all citizens of Sri Lanka, including the Tamil community, would lead a life marked by equality, justice, dignity and self-respect.

The Indian official also expressed hope that elections to the Northern Provincial Council would be held in a free, fair and credible manner.


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