India on Monday said that Sri Lanka has not made “measurable progress” in finding a political solution to ethnic issues involving the island nation’s Tamil minority through “full implementation of the 13th Amendment of the Constitution”.
The 13th Amendment to the Constitution was aimed at resolving Sri Lanka’s ethnic conflict that had aggravated into a full-fledged civil war between the armed forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam militant organisation in 1983, The Hindu reported.
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam wanted a separate state in northeast Sri Lanka because of alleged discrimination and persecution of Sri Lankan Tamils by the Sinhalese government.
The 13th Amendment assured a power-sharing arrangement between the Sinhalas and the Tamils by allowing all nine provinces in the country to govern themselves. The Sinhala nationalists have opposed it, saying that it will lead to sharing too much power in the country, whereas the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam argued they were not getting enough say.
The Sri Lankan leaders have also indicated that they do not want to displease the Sinhala majority by not committing to implement the amendment.
On Monday, the permanent representative of India to the United Nations in Geneva, Indra Mani Pandey, said that Sri Lanka has not fully implemented the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. Pandey called for the election to the provinces at the earliest.
“India’s consistent view on peace and reconciliation in Sri Lanka has been for a political settlement within the framework of a united Sri Lanka, ensuring justice, peace, equality and dignity for the Tamils of Sri Lanka,” Pandey said.
Pandey also said that Sri Lanka has shown the restrictions of an economy in debt and its impact on the standard of living.
The official was referring to the latest report on Sri Lanka from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the island nation’s economic crisis.
The report noted that “impunity” for past and present human rights abuses, economic crimes and corruption were the underlying causes for the island nation’s collapse, PTI reported.
Sri Lanka on Monday said that the report exceeds the mandate of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.