Govt. yet to officially deny Mahinda’s ‘13A Plus’ assurance to India - Lakshman Kiriella

by Zacki Jabbar

The government was yet to officially deny India’s claim that President Mahinda Rajapaksa had assured them of his commitment to implementing "13th Amendment Plus", as a means to resolving Sri Lanka’s ethnic issue, the UNP said yesterday.

India had on three occasions referred to President Rajapaksa’s assurance .The first time was after his last official visit to India. Then in January this year, India’s External Affairs Minister, S.M. Krishna told the media at the conclusion of an official visit to Sri Lanka that the President had reiterated his commitment to 13A Plus. Last Sunday the head of the All Party Indian parliamentary delegation, Susma Swaraj said after meeting President Rajapaksa, that he had agreed to implement 13A Plus", Lakshman Kiriella MP, told a news conference in Colombo.

The MP said that the Sri Lankan public was eager to know the truth and it was the duty of the government to clear the air by issuing an official statement without rejecting India’s claims through unidentified spokespersons.

If the Rajapaksa regime did not implement the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) recommendations, it would lose the support of even the 15 countries that had voted in its favour at the recent United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) session in Geneva, he noted.

Kiriella said that the government was able to defeat the resolution against it at the 2011 UNHRC session, by requesting more time for the LLRC to complete its inquiry process.

"If the LLRC recommendations are not implemented before the next UNHRC session, Sri Lanka will lose even the 15 votes it had obtained this time," he said.

The bad habit of branding northern and eastern Tamil political parties who did not toe the government line as terrorists should cease forthwith Kiriella said adding that such irresponsible statements would drive them away from mainstream politics.

One of the reasons for the UNP to hold the forthcoming May Day rally in Jaffna, was due to the dangerous post war trend that was developing, with extremist forces within the Rajapaksa regime whipping up emotions to suit their hidden agendas, he said.

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