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Reconciliation with Sri Lanka’s minority Tamil community depends on full 13A implementation: Jaishankar

The full implementation of the 13th Amendment to Sri Lanka’s Constitution is “critical” for achieving reconciliation with the minority Tamil community in the country, Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said on Monday.

Speaking at the India-Sri Lanka virtual summit, Jaishankar said, “The full implementation of the 13th Amendment to Sri Lanka’s Constitution is critical for achieving reconciliation with the Tamil community. We welcome the full implementation of all its provisions, including the devolution of powers to the provinces.”

The 13th Amendment to the Constitution of Sri Lanka, which was adopted in 1987, provides for the establishment of Provincial Councils in the country’s nine provinces, with the aim of devolving power from the central government to the provincial level.

The amendment has long been a contentious issue between the government of Sri Lanka and the Tamil community, and has been a major obstacle to achieving reconciliation between the two sides.

Jaishankar also said that India has been a “long-standing partner” of Sri Lanka in its development and reconstruction efforts, and called for increased collaboration between the two countries in various areas, including health, trade and investment, education, and culture.