Colombo, August 1, 2023 – A delegation of parliamentarians from the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) held a pivotal meeting with the Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Gopal Baglay, today (August 1). The discussion, which took place at the official residence of the Indian envoy, centred around crucial issues, including the implementation of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution and power-sharing.
TNA leader R. Sampanthan led the delegation and joined the meeting at the invitation of High Commissioner Baglay. During the session, the MPs engaged in extensive deliberations on the 13th Amendment, a matter of utmost importance for the Tamil community in Sri Lanka.
This meeting assumes great significance as it follows President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s recent visit to India, where he met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. During the two-day official visit, PM Modi reiterated the need for Sri Lanka to implement the 13th Amendment, which provides for power-sharing arrangements with provincial councils.
The President’s visit to India was followed by an all-party conference on July 26, where the Head of State emphasized the importance of discussing the 13th constitutional amendment with all parties. He highlighted that the matter affects the entire country, underscoring the need for inclusive and constructive dialogue. The TNA’s engagement with the Indian envoy signals a proactive approach to address issues concerning power-sharing and the rights of minority communities in Sri Lanka.
The 13th Amendment, which was introduced in 1987 following the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord, seeks to decentralize power and provide greater autonomy to provincial councils. However, its full implementation has been a subject of contention, leading to prolonged discussions and debates within the Sri Lankan political landscape.
The meeting with the Indian High Commissioner reflects India’s ongoing interest in fostering stability and harmony in Sri Lanka. India has consistently advocated for a peaceful resolution to Sri Lanka’s ethnic issues and has encouraged all parties to engage in constructive dialogue for the greater benefit of the nation.
As discussions continue, Sri Lanka stands at a critical juncture where decisions taken will have far-reaching implications for the nation’s future. The willingness of all stakeholders to engage in meaningful dialogue and find consensus-based solutions will be key to building a united, prosperous, and harmonious Sri Lanka for all its citizens.