India should take bold stand on issue of 13th Amendment: Jaya

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Chennai, July 14: Voicing concern over the fate of the 13th Amendment to Sri Lankan Constitution that agreed to devolve some authority to provinces, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa today called for a "bold stand" by India, saying it cannot remain a "passive bystander."

In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, she referred to the March 27, 2013 resolution by the state assembly and reiterated her demand for the Centre moving a resolution in the United Nations Security Council for a referendum on 'Tamil Ealam' (homeland).

The 13th Amendment is part of the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord of 1987, whereby Colombo agreed to devolve some authority to provinces but that government had been giving indications of late that it may repeal it despite New Delhi's concerns.

Jayalalithaa told Singh that there were "disturbing signs" about Sri Lankan government not being serious about Tamils' rehabilitation, besides its attempts to dilute 13th Amendment. She said "our worst fears" on the intentions and motives of the present Sri Lankan regime appeared to be coming true, while referring to setting up of a Parliamentary Select Committee by President Mahinda Rajapakse to review the 13th Amendment.

"The hawkish Sinhalese right wing groups have been resorting to agitations and protests to pressure the Sri Lankan Government to repeal the 13th Amendment prior to the elections to the Northern Provincial Council proposed to be held in September later this year.

In public statements, the Sri Lankan Defence Secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapakse has directly called for the repeal of the 13th Amendment," she said.

She said a delegation led by Sri Lankan Minister Basil Rajapakse had also met External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, "presumably to justify their stand in this matter."

PTI

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