n Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is extremely annoyed by Sri Lanka
n President Mahinda Rajapaksa`s recent subtle efforts to undermine the quantum of devolution provided to the Island`s nine Provinces through the thirteenth Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution that was facilitated by India.
President Rajapaksa & Prime Minister Manmohan Singh-file pic- via PTI
According to informed Indian sources the usually mild mannered Manmohan Singh known for his gentle and genteel ways had in uncharacteristic fashion almost blown a fuse when informed of recent efforts by President Rajapaksa to amend the Sri Lankan Constitution in a manner that would seriously undermine the devolution arrangements enabled by the 13th Constitutional Amendment.
Circles linked to the Indian external affairs establishment referred to as South Block speaking on condition of anonymity revealed that the Indian Govt in general and the Prime minister in particular were of the view that the Rajapaksa regime`s attempts to introduce the 19th Constitutional amendment at this juncture was an expression of bad faith .
According to these sources Prime minister Singh known for his docile demeanour had reacted rather angrily to details of the proposed 19th amendment as it had potentially drastic implications for the future of the Provincial councils in Sri Lanka.
The Indian Premier had apparently been irritated as he considered the proposed move to be a violation of sincere assurances provided to him directly by President Mahinda Rajapaksa on more than one occasion.
While New Delhi was expecting Colombo to go ahead with its pledges and implement the thirteenth amendment in full after holding elections to the Tamil majority Northern Provincial council, the recent move to amend the Constitution amounted to a display of bad faith in this regard.
According to Indian sources close examination of the draft proposals had shown that the amendment though seemingly innocuous at face value has the potential to cripple provincial councils and reduce them to an empty shell in the future.