By Meera Srinivasan
Campaigning for Sri Lanka’s August 5 general elections, the country’s main Tamil party has foregrounded the promise Colombo made to New Delhi on power devolution, the need for greater connectivity to India from the northern Palaly airport, and the need to expedite the return of Sri Lankan refugees living in India.
Releasing its poll manifesto in Jaffna on Saturday, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) — an amalgam of three parties with the largest representation from the Tamil-majority north-east in the last Parliament — said that during the Mahinda Rajapaksa presidency, the Sri Lankan government “repeatedly assured” the Indian government that it would “implement the 13th Amendment in full and build upon it so as to achieve meaningful devolution”.
While the promises are yet to be fulfilled, the TNA manifesto pointed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address to the Sri Lankan Parliament in March 2015, when he observed: “When we accommodate the aspirations of all sections of our society, the nation gets the strength of every individual. And, when we empower States, districts and villages, we make our country stronger and stronger… I am a firm believer in cooperative federalism.”
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