“We have long advocated the creation of an environment in Sri Lanka in which all communities, particularly the Sri Lankan Tamils, are masters of their own destiny within the framework of a united Sri Lanka. We will continue to work towards this end”, Singh told Jayalalitha in response to her letter dated July 14. The text of Singh’s letter was released by the state government today.The 13th Amendment is part of the Indo-Lanka accord of 1987 which seeks to give more powers to the provinces, DNA India reported. “There is absolutely no change in Government of India’s stand on the question of reconciliation and devolution of political powers in Sri Lanka,” the Indian media quoted him as saying in a letter to Jayalalithaa. Jayalalitha had written to the Prime Minister strongly urging New Delhi to take pressure the Sri Lankan Government not to take any steps to repeal or dilute the 13th Amendment of the Sri Lankan Constitution in any manner. Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh says there is no change in India’s stand on the issue of reconciliation and devolution of political powers to ethnic Tamils in Sri Lanka.He told Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa that New Delhi will work towards ensuring that Tamils are “masters of their own destiny within framework of a united Sri Lanka.” There are reports that the Lankan government wants to repeal it despite India’s concerns. Jayalalithaa had called upon the Centre to take a decisive and bold stand in support of the Tamils, besides asking India to ensure that the process of democratic decentralization was in no way jeopardised.
“We definitely know that it is neither for pleasure nor from a state for tourism that these men and women risk their lives in perilous journeys across the seas and oceans,” he told the Assembly’s annual general debate. “They are rather fleeing war, poverty and bad living conditions,” he added. “That is why the theme of our session – ‘Sustainable Development Goals: a universal push to transform our world’ – is to the point, since it allows us to envisage sustainable development that is capable of stabilizing peoples in their homelands,” he noted, and said: “Thus it is the duty of our Organization and of us all to take immediate measures to dam up the scourges of violence that stem from extremism and fanaticism on all sides.” Terrorism knows no frontiers, he stressed, denouncing the odious and barbaric acts that afflict the whole world, but especially Africa. “Terrorists are neither Muslims, nor Jews, nor Christians, nor Animists,” he said. “They do not belong to any religion, any civilization. They are barbarians.” Sir Anerood Jugnauth, Prime Minister of Mauritius, addresses the general debate of the General Assembly’s seventy-first session. UN Photo/Cia Pak President Anerood Jugnauth of Mauritius also dwelt on the SDGs and the UN’s role in helping to achieve them. “Every country has its priorities and will need to formulate a unique set of actions to achieve the universal goals we have set for ourselves,” he told the Assembly. “In this context, the United Nations will have an important role to play in backing up countries’ individual efforts.” Mauritius is focussing at first on the eradication of extreme forms of poverty, introducing a subsistence allowance for the extreme poor that will give them an income that 40 per cent higher than the World Bank’s absolute poverty threshold. “There are yet many miles to go and we will pursue our journey resolutely towards attaining all the SDGs, working together with the private sector and civil society,” he said. “We are fully committed to create a more equitable system, to safeguard rule of law and to ensure equal access to justice for all.”