External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, “quietly” conveyed to the Sri Lanka government that New Delhi would expect it to ensure that the new constitution of the island nation met the aspirations of the country’s minority Tamils.
Swaraj did not make any public comment about political rights of minority Tamils of Sri Lanka or the process of reconciliation being pursued by country’s new government during her visit to the country – ostensibly in accordance with New Delhi’s fresh approach in its engagement with Colombo. The press release issued by the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi also did not have any reference to the reconciliation process or the issue of political rights of Tamils.
Sources in New Delhi, however, said that Swaraj had conveyed to her counterpart Mangala Samaraweera, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and President Maithripala Sirisena that India would expect the new government in Sri Lanka to ensure devolution of power to the provincial governments in Tamil-majority North and East of the neighbouring country.
The Sri Lankan government last month started the process of formulating a new constitution with Sirisena, himself, underlining need for reforms for reconciliation with the minority community and thus preventing restart of the ethnic conflict. (Deccan Herald)