Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu today said he was hopeful the new Sri Lankan government will act upon the “advice” given by Prime Minister Narendra Modion implementation of the 13th Amendment and move forward with it to find a solution to the problems of Sri Lankan Tamils.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi (during his recent visit to the island nation) has said that we must move forward to implement the 13th Amendment (to Sri Lankan Constitution) on devolution of powers to Tamils which was agreed upon between the India-Sri Lanka pact in 1987 under former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.
“And that’s the advice given by Narendra Modi and I only hope that Sri Lanka will understand the spirit of the advice and then try to move forward so that there is a solution to Sri Lankan Tamil community problems,” Naidu told reporters here.
The 13th Amendment provides for devolution of powers in the Tamil majority Northern and Eastern provinces in the island nation.
“He (Modi) has shown the way forward and we only hope the new government in Sri Lanka will understand the spirit of cooperation and take forward the constitutional amendment which was agreed upon,” he said.
“BJP wants an early solution within the framework of the Sri Lankan constitution and integrity of Sri Lanka… but at the same time reconciliation and devolution has to take place as promised so that there is permanent peace, permanent solution for the Sri Lankan Tamils problems,” he said.
Terming Modi’s visit to Sri Lanka as “historic”, the senior BJP leader said India wanted peace, not tensions in its neighbourhood.
“That is the need of the hour and for permanent solution to be found. Frequent tensions that are arising over the Indian and Sri Lankan fishermen issues also have to be resolved. Enough discussions have taken place. Sri Lanka must move forward to have friendly relationship with its neighbour and I hope they will understand the silent advice given by the Prime Minister (Modi),” Naidu said.
“He (Modi) said unity, peace, progress is the need of the hour. So, we only hope Sri Lanka, who is our friend with whom we have ancient civilisation ties, understands this spirit and then tries to move forward,” Venkaiah added.