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Sri Lanka ready for devolution to Tamil areas

With LTTE out of its way, Sri Lanka on Thursday assured India that it will implement a law for devolving powers to Tamil-dominated areas as both the countries agreed on the need for a lasting political solution to the ethnic conflict.

world Updated: May 21, 2009 18:34 IST

With LTTE out of its way, Sri Lanka on Thursday assured India that it will implement a law for devolving powers to Tamil-dominated areas as both the countries agreed on the need for a lasting political solution to the ethnic conflict.

The assurance was contained in a joint statement issued after National Security Adviser M K Narayanan and Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon met President Mahinda Rajapaksa here, three days LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran was eliminated and the country was declared free of terrorism.

Sri Lanka and India were agreed that with the end of the military operations the time was opportune to focus attention on issues of relief, rehabilitation, resettlement and reconciliation, including a permanent political solution in Sri Lanka.

Menon told reporters after the meeting that Sri Lanka appeared willing to go beyond the 1987 Indo-Sri Lanka Peace Accord which for the first time set up a devolution plan for the ethnically-divided nation.

"Our discussions were within the framework of the Indo-Sri Lanka Peace agreement. The President is not only willing to implement the 13th Amendment (set up under the Rajiv Gandhi-Jayawardene accord) but is willing to go the extra mile," he said.