Going beyond 13 A: GTF

Going beyond 13 A: GTF ponders what Modi’s message to Mahinda really meant

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By Shamindra Ferdinando

The Global Tamil Forum (GTF) yesterday said that India should explain what 13th Amendment plus envisaged for Tamil speaking people in post-war Sri Lanka.  

UK based GTF spokesperson, Suren Surendiran told The Island that the Diaspora grouping wanted to know what newly elected Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi really meant by going beyond the 13th Amendment to achieve national reconciliation fully and quickly. Surendiran was commenting on Premier Modi’s brief meeting with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa last Tuesday (May 26) in New Delhi.

GTF-Suren The media quoted Premier Modi as having told President Rajapaksa that an early and full implementation of the 13th Amendment and going beyond would contribute to this process.

Surendiran pointed out that the Indian Prime Minister’s Office didn’t issue a specific statement so far.

Responding to another query, Surendiran said that the Indian Premier had basically told President Rajapaksa that he should live up to his own constitution and any public commitments made to India at the conclusion of the war in May 2009.

The GTF is among the groups proscribed by the government in April in accordance with the UN Security Council Resolution 1373. Altogether 16 organisations were classified as “terrorist” under the new government proclamation.

The official said that before the GTF could take it up with the Tamil National alliance (TNA) it would like to know what the 13th Amendment plus entailed. Not only us, but all those interested in national reconciliation would be very much interested in knowing what India envisaged by going beyond 13th Amendment.

Surendiran also noted that Indian Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh quoted Premier Modi as having told President Rajapaksa that India expected Sri Lanka to expedite the process of national reconciliation “in a manner that meets the aspirations of the Tamil community for a life of equality, justice, peace and dignity within a united Sri Lanka.”

Asked whether the GTF was in touch with the TNA as regards post-Modi victory developments, Surendiran said that they were engaged in consultations.

Authoritative government sources told The Island that that those who spoke on behalf of the GTF as well as the TNA today had conveniently forgotten that Northern Provincial Council elections couldn’t be even held until the eradication of the LTTE, though the 13th Amendment to the Constitution came into operation way back in 1987. The five-party TNA comfortably won the first elections for the Northern PC last September. Sources said that the government firmly believed that the issue should be addressed through a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) comprising of political parties/alliances represented in parliament.