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Lanka will not relent on 13A amendment, Basil Rajapaksa

Overruling India’s concerns, Sri Lanka may go ahead with its proposed plans to amend the 13th amendment ahead of the provincial polls in Tamil-dominated northern areas in September, a top minister has hinted. 

Basil Rajapaksa, the younger brother of President Mahinda Rajapaksaand the Economic Development Minister, who returned here from New Delhi after talks with Indian leaders, was non-committal about any conditions that New Delhi might have pushed for. 

‘When we bring in a Bill we wouldn’t normally retract. We will go back only if the people wanted us to go back. There are examples when we have done so on people’s will’, he told reporters when asked about India’s concerns. 

Basil strictly refused to say whether the Indian Government insists on Sri Lanka consulting it before changing the 13th Amendment. He maintained, instead, that some things must necessarily remain secret - as they would be between ‘husband and wife’, the Sunday Times reported. As per the 13th amendment that followed the Indo-Sri Lankan Accord of July 1987, Sri Lankan government had agreed to devolve some authority to the provinces.  India has emphasised to Sri Lanka the need to fully implement the constitutional provision dealing with devolution of powers to provinces.
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