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Stalin ‘shocked’ with Prez’s views on 13th amendment

India’s DMK president M K Stalin expressed shock at Sri Lankan president’s response to demands for devolution of political powers to the island nation’s Tamil minority during a recent interview with Indian media.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had raised the issue of the 13th amendment to the Sri Lankan constitution with Rajapaksa during his just-concluded visit and hoped that Lanka will pursue the process of reconciliation to fulfill the aspirations of the Tamils for equality, justice, peace, and respect.

“Rajapaksa had said that giving political powers to Tamils is not his priority. He further stated that the majority Sinhalese are against the devolution of political powers for Tamils. The Sri Lankan president’s statement has come as a shock for me,” Hindustan Times quoted Stalin as saying.

The Dravidian leader added Rajapaksa’s statement proves “his heart and mind are not considering democracy”.

“When getting a clear mandate in Sri Lankan presidential elections, Gotabaya announced that he would act as a president for all the citizens. However, after meeting our Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he says he could not give political powers to the northern and eastern province. We are worried about the statement of Rajapaksa,” Stalin said.

Stalin said the prime minister should intervene to ensure “rights” and “dignity” for Lankan Tamils.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had raised the issue of the 13th amendment to the Sri Lankan constitution with Rajapaksa during his just-concluded visit and hoped that Lanka will pursue the process of reconciliation to fulfil the aspirations of the Tamils for equality, justice, peace, and respect.

Rajapaksa had also assured India that his government had an “inclusive viewpoint” on the issue of Lankan Tamils’ rights and development.

HT’s attempt to reach out to the Sri Lankan Deputy High Commission in Chennai for a comment weren’t successful.