The Indian Minister of External Affairs visit to Sri Lanka is of significance given the bi-lateral relations between the two countries. A whole host of outstanding issues are there to be discussed, but what is on the agenda seems a closely guarded secret.
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) briefed visiting Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on issues related to the North yesterday. TNA leader R. Sampanthan said that the Indian Minister was told about land issues in the North with the military still occupying some civilian property.
He said that the TNA delegation which met Khurshid also raised concerns on the heavy army presence in the North despite the end of the war more than four years ago. TNA Leader R. Sampanthan and Parliamentarians M.A. Sumanthiran, Suresh Premachandran and Selvam Adaikalanathan attendes the meeting
Meanwhile the Indian Foreign Minister Salman Kurshi met the minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa at the ministry yesterday afternoon. During the time of meeting both ministers discuss about social and economic affairs between two nations and the India sponsored housing project in the Northern Province.
He also met with Lankan foreign minister G.L.Peiris, and speaking to journalist’s Kurshid said,that Indian strongly believes that northern provincial council will works together with Lankan government on power devolution.The Indian Foreign Minister Salman Kurshid said India will never make independent decisions on Lankan issue and India is always ready to help to solve the national issue of SriLanka. India he said looks forward to an early resumption of the dialogue process to reach a political settlement in Sri Lanka based on the full implementation of 13th Amendment to the Constitution in a timely manner. Minister Salman Khurshid said that India will not decide for Sri Lanka but is ready to offer assistance to reach a political solution to the National issue.
Professor G.L Peiris said that the consensus the Indian Minister was referring to can be achieved through the Parliament Select Committee (PSC) process which is underway. He said that the government has been consistently urging the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) to join the PSC process which is looking at making changes to the 13th Amendment to the constitution. However the TNA has so far refused to do so.
“The Government of Sri Lanka has on many occasions conveyed to us and to the international community, its commitment to move towards a political settlement based on the full implementation of the 13th Amendment, and building on it. We look forward to an early resumption of the dialogue process, in order to address this issue in a timely manner. We will continue to work with the Government of Sri Lanka, and help in whatever way we can, to take this process forward, in a spirit of partnership and cooperation,” the Indian External Affairs Minister said.
India on the other hand has been calling for the full implementation of the 13th Amendment. The 13A has not only the feigned interest of the minority Tamils in the North and East insofar as the Indians are concerned, but it serves the domestic political compulsions and geo-political interests of India in having a foothold in north Sri Lanka and geo-political interests of India take precedence over real concern for the people of north Sri Lanka.
Meanwhile the Indian Minister said that at the discussion with Minister Peiris they also discussed the fishermen’s issue and agreed on the need to deal with it in a humane manner without resorting to violence under any circumstances.
The decision regarding the participation of the Indian Prime Minister for the upcoming CHOGM in Colombo will be notified in due course, the Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Kurshid said.
Minister Salman Khurshid is to meet with Northern Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran in Jaffna today.