Sri Lanka today said its ties with India are at a high pedestal and are moving forward smoothly.
“Our dialogue with India is continuing. Basil Rajapaksa was in India yesterday. The two governments enjoy mutual understanding,” External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris said.
Indo-Sri Lankan Accord
He was replying in response to a query whether Colombo had come under pressure from India on the ongoing impasse over its plans to amend the 13th amendment.
As per the 13th amendment that followed the Indo-Sri Lankan Accord of July 1987, the Sri Lankan Government had agreed to devolve some authority to the provinces.
“India is important to us as our neighbour. Our President has described India as our relative,” Peiris said in Kandy, pointing out that as many as five ministers from India have visited Sri Lanka this year.
“That shows the level of relationship,” he said.
His remarks came as Basil Rajapaksa completed his two-day visit to India.
During his visit to India, Rajapaksa held talks with External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon and the Foreign Secretary.
Although the media reports suggested that India had emphasised to Rajapaksa the need “to fully implement the constitutional provision dealing with devolution of powers to provinces without dilution and go beyond it to ensure meaningful development”, Lanka’s External Affairs Ministry release on Rajapaksa’s visit was dealing with other areas of discussion.
It said that Rajapaksa’s visit was aimed at apprising the Indian leaders on Sri Lanka’s changes to the 13th amendment — the move to strip police and land powers to provinces.