India on Monday reaffirmed its commitment to protect the rights of Sri Lanka’s minority Tamil community through the full implementation of the 13th Amendment, early convening of Provincial Council elections and achieving reconciliation.
This was conveyed by Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla to the Tamil leaders in Sri Lanka during his separate interactions with them.
Mr Shringla, who arrived in Sri Lanka on Saturday on a four-day visit, met leaders from the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), Tamil National People’s Front (TNPF) and Ceylon Workers’ Congress (CWC).
“Foreign Secretary @harshvshringla had separate and productive meetings with delegations from TNA, TPA and CWC,” the Indian High Commission said in a tweet.
“He emphasised India’s commitment to protecting the rights of Tamils through full implementation of the 13th amendment, early convening of Provincial Council elections, achieving reconciliation and establishing connectivity to India,” it added.
Mr Shringla earlier said that with the easing of the COVID-19 situation in Sri Lanka, it may be opportune for the two sides to work on connectivity initiatives like the Jaffna to Chennai flight, ferry services between Karaikal and Kankesanthurai and Dhanushkodi and Talaimanar, and the Buddhist corridor with the new international airport at Kushinagar.
India has been consistently calling upon Sri Lanka to fulfill its commitments to protect the interests of the Tamil community and preserve the island nation’s character as a multi-ethnic and multi-religious society.
India has been pressing Sri Lanka to implement the 13th amendment which was brought in after the Indo-Sri Lankan agreement of 1987.