Mar 07, Colombo: India is firmly of the view that issues of reconciliation and political devolution in Sri Lanka need to be addressed with a sense of urgency, the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said.
Addressing the Indian Parliament on Wednesday (March 6), Indian PM has said that his government very seriously takes the sentiments expressed by members of the parliament on the issue of human rights violations during the conflict in Sri Lanka and the lack of progress on reconciliation, accountability and political devolution in Sri Lanka.
"We have consistently called upon the Government of Sri Lanka to fulfill its public commitments for the implementation of the 13th Amendment and for building further on it so as to achieve a meaningful political settlement. We have also urged that elections to the Northern Provincial Council be held at the earliest and have called for effective and time-bound implementation of the constructive recommendations contained in the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission report," Singh has told the House.
He has noted that he conveyed the message to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa during his state visit to India in September 2012.
"We will continue to remain engaged with the Government of Sri Lanka to implement these steps and take forward the process of reconciliation and settlement," the PM has assured.
Speaking of the US-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka to be tabled at the 22nd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva, the PM said India's decision depends on the substance of the final text tabled in the Council.
"We will, however, be guided by our consistent position that we support proposals that seek to advance the achievement of a future for the Tamil community in Sri Lanka that is marked by equality, dignity, justice and self-respect," Prime Minister Singh stressed.
He assured the parliament that his Government will remain engaged with the Sri Lankan government to promote a durable settlement of the Tamil problem that will enable Sri Lanka's Tamil citizens to lead a "life of dignity and self-respect with equal rights".
Speaking of the fishermen issue, the Prime Minister assured the members of the parliament That India will remain engaged with the Sri Lankan government with regard to the welfare, safety and security of Indian fishermen to ensure that fishermen on both sides can continue to pursue their livelihood in a safe, secure and sustainable manner.