Consensus on implementing 13th amendment: Ranil

646564e2cb54ae5e3f2f4dea7ce07cf5_LSri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe on Saturday said political parties have agreed to implement the thirteenth amendment as a solution to end the country’s over three-decade-old ethnic conflict involving the Tamil minority.

“All parties have agreed to solve the ethnic problem within the framework of the thirteenth amendment. We are continuing our talks,” Mr. Wickramasinghe said while addressing a gathering at Deniyaya in the south.

Power to Councils

He further said that all Provincial Councils will have equal powers now that the Tamil National Alliance has said that they are for a solution within an undivided Sri Lanka.

Provincial Councils became part of the Sri Lankan statute as a direct result of the landmark 1987 Indo-Sri Lanka accord, popularly known as the Rajiv-Jayawardane Accord, after its architects — Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Lankan President J. R. Jayewardene.

Mr. Wickramasinghe also blamed the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa for failing to resolve the thorny issues concerning the Tamil minority despite having ended the two-and-a-half decade-old civil war with the LTTE in 2009.

On the U.N.’s human rights investigation on Sri Lanka, Mr. Wickramasinghe said it was the result of Mr. Rajapaksa’s mishandling of the issue.

“They [the Rajapaksa government] agreed with the U.N. Secretary General to have an investigation after the war ended. Later confirmed it at the U.N. Human Rights Council.

“But the investigation did not happen, so came the appointment of an investigation panel,” Mr. Wickramasinghe said, referring to the March 2014 UNHRC resolution on Sri Lanka.

He said the new government’s policy on the investigation is that all criminal charges will be probed through a local mechanism. — PTI