Four prominent bishops from the main Buddhist sects delivered a letter to Wickremesinghe in the city of Kandy. The letter alleged that Wickremesinghe’s plan has created discontent in the country as the move challenges Sri Lanka’s sovereignty.
Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s plan to fully implement the Indian-backed 13th Amendment to grant political autonomy to minority Tamils suffered a setback on Thursday due to strong opposition from powerful Buddhist clerics, saying it reflected the nature of country unit. Four prominent bishops from the main Buddhist sects delivered a letter to Wickremesinghe in the city of Kandy. The letter alleged that Wickremesinghe’s plan has created discontent in the country as the move challenges Sri Lanka’s sovereignty.
The letter reminded Wickremesinghe that his predecessor did not proceed with the full implementation of the 13th Amendment because of the threat it posed to the unity of the country. The letter warned that the president should not attempt to do so and should not create a reason to incite public anger. President Wickremesinghe has stressed the need to fully implement the 13th Amendment to the Constitution in order to give political autonomy to the Tamil minority in the country.
Last week, he offered full implementation of the 13th Amendment as a solution to the longstanding demand for political autonomy on behalf of the Tamil community in Sri Lanka. Amendment 13A provides for the transfer of power to the Tamil community in Sri Lanka. India has been pressing Sri Lanka to implement Amendment 13A introduced after the 1987 India-Sri Lanka agreement. At the all-party meeting, Wickremesinghe said, “As president, I am obliged to implement the relevant law of the country.” He is due to announce the full implementation of 13A in his speech to Parliament on February 8.
During his visit to Sri Lanka last month, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar stressed India’s desire to see full implementation of 13A. Wickremesinghe began talks with minority Tamil political groups in mid-December to achieve a reconciliation before February 4, the 75th anniversary of Sri Lanka’s independence from Britain. Sinhalese, mostly Buddhists, make up about 75 percent of Sri Lanka’s population of 22 million, while Tamils make up 15 percent.
Disclaimer:Prabhasakshi has not edited this news. This news has been published from PTI-language feed.