India urges Sri Lanka to find a quick political solution to the ethnic issue

June 11, Colombo: India today has asked the Sri Lankan government to quickly reach a political solution with the minority Tamils to resolve the country’s protracted ethnic issue.

Following a meeting with Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa this morning, India’s National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon said it is up to the Sri Lankan government to find a solution based on the 13th Amendment to the Constitution that is comfortable to all the communities in the country to live peacefully.

“The quicker the Sri Lankan government can come to a political arrangement the better,” Menon said addressing the media in Colombo.

Menon, with Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao and Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar, was leading the high-level tri-member Indian delegation that arrived in Colombo on Friday for bilateral talks on a variety of issues.

Sri Lanka has agreed to devolve power to the minority Tamils according to the 13th Amendment to the Constitution made under the Indo- Lanka Accord of July 1987. The Amendment envisages province as the unit of power and devolution of powers between the center and the provinces as a solution to the ethnic conflict.

Sri Lanka has said that it would implement a devolution plan for Tamil areas extending beyond the 13th Amendment.

Menon stressed that any solution whether it is 13th Amendment Plus must be comfortable to all communities. “We will do whatever we can to help,” he said.

The delegation also met with the major Tamil party, Tamil national alliance before leaving the country.

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