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Ready for talks with TNA on 13A: Rajapaksa

Ready for talks with TNA on 13A: Rajapaksa

Colombo: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said his government is ready for talks with the Tamil National Alliance on the implementation of the 13th Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution, which devolves more powers to provinces in the island nation.

President Rajapaksa, in an interview to The Hindu, declined reports that he was upset about the meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi had with six leaders of the Tamil-majority North and Eastern provinces.

“It was their right in a democracy to meet anyone,” Rajapaksa said.

Rajapaksa said he was grateful for India’s stand on the U.N. Human Rights Council vote, where New Delhi refused to endorse the demand for an inquiry by an international agency into allegations of “war crimes” by the Sri Lankan Army against the LTTE in 2009.

“Our government is conducting local investigations, but we won’t allow them to internationalise it,” he said.

The 13th amendment, which was conceptualised in 1987 after India's mediation efforts, calls for the devolution of land and police powers to the Provincial Councils as a means to improve ties between majority Sinhala and Tamil community.

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