Jayalalithaa wants Prime Minister to be bold on Lankan Tamils’ rights

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Chennai: Expressing concern over the apparent moves in Sri Lanka to dilute and even repeal the 13th amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution as it promised some rights and powers for the Tamils in the island, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has urged the Prime Minister to “decisively take a bold stand” instead of remaining a “passive bystander” to their subjugation by the Sinhala regime.
 
In a letter to PM on Sunday, Jayalalithaa recalled the March 27 (2013) resolution by the state assembly calling for a referendum on a ‘separate Eelam’ among the Tamils in Sri Lanka and their diaspora, and said recent events betrayed Colombo’s intent “to take away even the limited political rights available to the Tamils”. 
 
Pointing out that the 13th amendment was a product of the Indo-Lanka accord of 1987 for addressing Tamil aspirations through the development of democratic decentralisation, she said the rulers in Colombo and the hawkish Sinhala parties were now trying to derail the amendment.
 
President Mahinda Rajapaksa has set up a Parliamentary select committee to review the 13th amendment while his brother and defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa publicly called for its repeal.
 
Another brother Basil Rajapaksa, a minister, led a delegation to Delhi recently and met the Indian foreign minister “presumably to justify their stand on this matter”, Jayalalithaa told the PM.
 
She said as a leader in the region and champion of human rights and democracy, India should “decisively take a bold stand in support of the much discriminated against and long suffering Tamil minorities in Sri Lanka”.

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