TN Guv welcomes Jaishankar's comments, says it conveys Centre's concern for Tamil people in Sri Lanka

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Chennai, Jan 7 (PTI) Governor Banwarilal Purohit on Thursday welcomed External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar's statement in Sri Lanka, which he said signified the Centre's concern towards Tamils and would be welcomed by the people of Tamil Nadu.

Jaishankar unequivocally stated the Indian position on the 13th Amendment to the island nation, Purohit said in a statement.

Quoting Jaishankar from a press conference he addressed with his Srilankan counterpart Dinesh Gunawardena in Colombo on Wednesday, the Governor emphasised, 'this is an important statement, signifying the concern of the Indian Government towards their Tamil sisters and brothers in Sri Lanka.' 'His words are sure to be welcomed by the people of Tamil Nadu.' Jaishankar's statement 'is in the spirit of Prime Minister Narendra Modiji's own untiring efforts for the welfare of the Tamil population in Sri Lanka,' the Governor said.

On January 6, Jaishankar underlined India's backing for Lanka's reconciliation process and an 'inclusive political outlook' that encourages ethnic harmony.

The Foreign Minister had said: 'As we promote peace and well-being in the region, India has been strongly committed to the unity, stability and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka.

Our support for the reconciliation process in Sri Lanka is longstanding, as indeed for an inclusive political outlook that encourages ethnic harmony.' 'It is in Sri Lanka's own interest that the expectations of the Tamil people for equality, justice, peace and dignity within a united Sri Lanka are fulfilled.

That applies equally to the commitments made by the Sri Lankan government on meaningful devolution, including the 13th Amendment to the Constitution,' Jaishankar added.

The progress and prosperity of Sri Lanka would surely be advanced as a consequence, he asserted.

The 13th Amendment provides for devolution of power to the Tamil community. India has been pressing Sri Lanka to implement the 13th amendment which was brought in after the Indo-Sri Lankan agreement of 1987.

His remarks assume significance in the backdrop of moves by the ruling Sri Lanka People's Party (SLPP) allies to mount a public campaign for abolition of Sri Lanka's provincial councils system.

The SLPP's Sinhala majority hardliners have been advocating a total abolition of the island's provincial council system established in 1987.

The DMK had recently urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to prevail upon Sri Lanka to give up its 'proposal' to abolish the provincial councils as it went against the island nation's 13th Amendment to Constitution. PTI VGN ROH ROH