We will not give in to Indian pressure – minister
The State Finance Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said the full implementation of the 13th Amendment to the Sri Lankan constitution was unrealistic and India could not compel the government to implement it.
Speaking on Rupavahini TV, Mr Samarasinghe, who used to be former president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s special envoy on human rights, said land and police powers should not be devolved to the provinces as stipulated in the amendment, highlighting that JR Jayawardene, the president at the time of the amendment, was strongly opposed to the devolution of those powers.
The minister accused India of pressuring the government in 1987 to accept the amendment, despite opposition by Sri Lanka, and said no Sri Lankan leader would give in to Indian pressure to accept its position which was “unfair and unacceptable”.
Mr Samarasinghe said India had made a determined bid to incorporate a clause in the UNHRC resolution in May 2009 that committed the previous government to fully implement the 13 Amendment. The minister, who at the time led the Sri Lankan delegation in Geneva, said that had Sri Lanka given in to Indian pressure, the country would have experienced a “difficult situation”.