PM for greater people-to-people ties with Lanka

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 11 Sep 2018 09:15:14



PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Monday called for greater people-to-people ties between India and Sri Lanka, saying it would enhance relations between the two nations. The Prime Minister made the remark during a meeting with a delegation of Sri Lankan members of the Parliament here.

Issues related to Tamils in Sri Lanka, including the urgent need for devolution of powers to the ethnic minority, came up at the meeting. An eight-member delegation headed by Parliament Speaker Karu Jayasuriya met Modi at his official residence when Tamil MPs sought India’s good offices to persuade Colombo to adopt the 13th amendment to the Constitution to devolve powers to the northern and eastern parts of the island nation heavily populated by the Tamils. R Sampanthan, Leader of the Opposition in Sri Lankan Parliament and from the Tamil National Alliance, and Douglas Devananda, MP from the Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP), voiced the Tamil position that there should be full implementation of the India-Sri Lanka Agreement of 1987 which spoke of devolving powers to the North and East of the island nation.

Devananda said he also urged the Indian Government to help construct one lakh more houses in Tamil areas and elsewhere for the rehabilitation of civilians following the end of the decades of ethnic conflict.

Modi stressed on the importance of linkages between the people of the two countries. “He stated that the new initiatives for enhancing relations between provincial assemblies and local bodies of the two countries would further deepen significantly the close people-to-people ties and trust between the two countries,” the statement read.
The visiting Parliamentarians noted the historical ties and shared spiritual and cultural heritage of India and Sri Lanka.

They also expressed appreciation for deepening of relations between the two nations in recent years.  The Sri Lankan delegation also noted the benefits from a number of people-centric development cooperation projects being carried out with India’s assistance in their country.
“They agreed that speedy implementation of joint economic projects will bring benefits to the economies and the people of both the countries,” the statement read.