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Reframe Constitution, end war: India to Lanka

Delhi is conveying its readiness to provide constitutional experts to Lanka, to help reframe the Constitution.

india Updated: Aug 20, 2006 16:53 IST

With bloody conflict raging in Sri Lanka between the government forces and the LTTE, India has pitched in to help by offering a political formula to resolve the crisis.

India has offered a devolution formula, based on the Sarkaria Commission's recommendations, which could take care of the interests and aspirations of all sections of the society of the island nation, official sources said in New Delhi.

New Delhi has suggested that Sri Lanka look at the Indian model of governance, where there is a clear-cut distribution of power between the Centre and the states, they said.

In this context, a copy of the Sarkaria Commission report, which has an elaborate definition of devolution of powers, has been given to the Sri Lankan government.

New Delhi has also conveyed its readiness to provide constitutional experts to help Colombo reframe the national Constitution. Other kinds of political help is also on offer.

The offer comes in the midst of increasing demands here that India should do something to help end the two-decade-old conflict in Sri Lanka, which is again becoming bloody after a brief lull.

India has suggested to the Sri Lankan government that a larger political vision needs to be clearly spelt out by it to help various sections of the society to firm up their positions.

The Sri Lankan government has so far not taken any decision with regard to the Indian proposal and is said to be studying it, the sources said. India has maintained that war is not an option for resolving Sri Lanka's problems and the focus should be on a political settlement. It wants the political processes to emerge there in a pronounced manner.

Despite the intensification of armed confrontation between Sri Lanka's military and LTTE rebels, India has ruled out direct involvement, either militarily or in talks, for the time being.

New Delhi is wary of getting involved because of the "past experiences", although political parties of Tamil Nadu have been pressing for India's intervention. India's refusal to get involved is maintained despite the LTTE's plea that New Delhi "forget" the past.

More than a week ago, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh deputed National Security Adviser M K Narayanan to meet Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi in Chennai and brief him about the government's stand on Sri Lanka in view of the sensitivities attached with the state.

The Sri Lankan government has been seeking revival of peace talks with LTTE even as the Tamil rebels continue to indulge in terror acts. The government said moves to open talks will not compromise military operations to defend against the Tamil Tigers.