Sept 24, New Delhi: Welcoming the conclusion of successful elections to three Provincial Councils in Sri Lanka on September 21, India said today the Government of Sri Lanka has honored its commitment to the international community to hold elections to the Northern Provincial Council.
India, in a statement released by the Ministry of External Affairs, said it is looking forward to the implementation of other important commitments Sri Lankan government made to the international community, including the full implementation of the 13th Amendment and going beyond it.
India commended on the positive statements made by both the government and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), the Tamil party that won the Northern Provincial Council, and said it is "indeed a matter of satisfaction that they have expressed willingness to work with each other for the progress of the people of the Northern Province."
"We would urge both sides to engage constructively, in a spirit of partnership and mutual accommodation, so that the urgent needs of the people of the Northern Province, which has recently emerged from the throes of a thirty-year long armed conflict, are addressed with a sense of urgency and purpose," India said.
"Only such a cooperative approach will pave the way for genuine reconciliation between the communities involved."
The high voter turnout and the enthusiastic participation of various political parties demonstrate the continuing commitment of the Sri Lankan people to democratic values and elections for representative bodies at various levels, including the Provincial Councils, India said.
India however, noted the observations made by election observers from the Forum of South Asian Election Management Bodies and also the Commonwealth but said overall the will of the people has been reflected at these elections.
India reiterated its commitment to work with both the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil party to further the reconciliation between the communities.
"The Government of India is committed to working with both the sides to further this process, so that all communities in Sri Lanka, including the minorities, can feel that they are equal stakeholders in a united Sri Lanka and can look forward to a future marked by equality, justice, dignity and self-respect," India said.