Proactive Diplomacy Expected from India
Sitaram Yechury, a member of the CPI(M) Polit Bureau and leader of the CPI(M) group in Rajya Sabha, wrote on June 21, 2013 the following letter to the prime minister on the issue of Sri Lankan Tamils. IT was a relief to hear your comments expressing dismay, as reported by the media, at the suggestion that the government of Sri Lanka planned to dilute certain key provisions of the 13th amendment to the Sri Lankan constitution ahead of elections to the northern provincial council. It was noted that the proposed changes raised doubts about the commitments made by the Sri Lankan government to India and the international community, including the United Nations, on a political settlement in Sri Lanka that would go beyond the 13th amendment. The changes would also be incompatible with the recommendation of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), set up by the government of Sri Lanka, calling for a political settlement based on the devolution of power to the provinces. There is deep concern in India about the welfare and wellbeing of the Tamil community in Sri Lanka and hoping that the Sri Lankan Tamil community would lead a life of dignity, as equal citizens, in Sri Lanka. I would urge you to ensure that the government of India plays a proactive diplomatic role in discharging its commitment for a future for the Sri Lankan Tamil community marked by equality, justice and self-respect. Needless to add, this 13th amendment was the consequence of the historic Rajiv-Jayawardene accord. It is, thus, expected that India plays a role in the implementation of the provisions of the accord, while strengthening the best of relations between our two sovereign countries.