Lankan minister slams Tamil MPs for seeking Indian PM’s intervention on 13th Amendment issue

Written By: Dasuni Athauda Edited By: C Krishnasai WION
Colombo Updated: Jan 28, 2022, 07:04 PM(IST)

Sri Lanka’s energy minister Udaya Gammanpila Photograph:( Twitter )

Story highlights

13 Tamil MPs from Sri Lanka wrote a letter to Modi seeking India’s help in ensuring that Colombo addresses the island’s long-pending Tamil issue with a lasting political solution

Sri Lanka’s energy minister Udaya Gammanpila slammed the Tamil lawmakers from the country for seeking Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention over the long-standing 13th Amendment issue.

Speaking exclusively to WION, he said that “if they have an issue, they must bring it up with the Sri Lankan government and not India.”

The minister's comments come days after 13 Tamil MPs from Sri Lanka wrote a letter to Modi seeking India’s help in ensuring that Colombo addresses the island’s long-pending Tamil issue with a lasting political solution.

The 13th Amendment was the result of the Indo-Lanka Accord of 1987, inked by the then Sri Lankan president JR Jayawardena and former Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.

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It provides for the devolution of power to the minority Tamil community in Sri Lanka. 

The letter also cites the Indian political leadership's interventions at various moments, such as Prime Minister Modi's 2015 address to the Sri Lankan Parliament, in which he expressed his staunch confidence in "cooperative federalism." 

He said that since the MPs are from Sri Lanka, they should have called on the country’s president to redress their grievances.

Also read | Tamil MPs of Sri Lanka write to Indian PM Modi on implementing 13th amendment

“Instead of writing their issues to the government, the 13 members wrote to the Indian PM. I am against this. Sri Lanka is a separate entity and not a part of India,” Gammanpila said.

Over the years, India had reaffirmed its commitment to protect the rights of the Tamils through the implementation of the 13th Amendment.

However, the ruling Sri Lanka People’s Party’s Sinhala majority hardliners have been advocating for total abolition of the island’s Provincial Council system.

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