Implement 13th amendment: Naidu to new Lankan Govt

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Chennai, Jan 9: The new government elected in Sri Lanka should implement the 13th amendment in "letter and spirit" and the aspirations of the ethnic Tamils there must be met, Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said here on Friday.

Implement 13th amendment: Naidu to new Lankan Govt
"The Sri Lankan government should implement the 13th amendment (an Indian initiative aimed at giving more powers to provinces) in their Constitution in letter and spirit. The aspirations of the ethnic Tamils should be met. We (India) must work together with our neighbours," the Union Minister of Urban Development and Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation said when asked for his comment on the new government in the island nation.

Replying to a query on what were the reasons behind the defeat of incumbent president Mahinda Rajapaksa, Naidu said, "it is for Rajapaksa to understand. It is for the people of Lanka to decide on their leader. It is an internal matter of Sri Lanka. I cannot comment on that."

President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Friday conceded defeat in country's tightest-ever presidential race and left his official residence, with cumulative results showing opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena ahead.

"President Rajapaksa left Temple Trees bowing to the people's mandate in the presidential election", a statement from Rajapaksa's office said. With final result yet to be declared, Sirisena is expected to be declared winner by around 4,00,000 votes.

The election officials had estimated more than 65-70 per cent voting in most places. There were 19 candidates in the fray. But the main fight was between two-term president 69-year-old Rajapaksa and his 63-year-old former cabinet colleague Sirisena.

Rajapaksa had called the election two years ahead of schedule, hoping to win a record third six-year term before the defeat of the Tamil Tigers fades in the memory of the people of the island which saw a three decades war over the demand of a separate Tamil Eelam.

PTI 

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