amendment and dilute available devolution had irritated the Indian establishment ingeneral and annoyed Manmohan Singh in particular.The Indian Prime minister who had earlier evinced great confidence in the Politicalintegrity of President Rajapaksa had been upset at what was seen as a breach of solemn pledges.It is against this backdrop that Manmohan Singh’s special message on behalf of theIndian Govt was conveyed to Mahinda Rajapaksa by SS Menon.It was pointed out that India had been of tremendous assistance to Sri Lanka in copingwith severe international pressures on many fronts in recent times.It was India thathelped dilute the resolution initiated by the USA on Sri Lanka at the UN Human RightsCouncil in Geneva.It was India that helped ensure Sri Lanka’s status as hosts of theCommonwealth heads of state summit to be held in the Island in November.
It was stated that India was advocating Sri Lanka’s case Internationally on the basisthat President Rajapaksa was genuinely committed to ethnic reconciliation andpolitical harmony through a viable scheme of devolution. But if President Rajapaksawavered or vacillated on that commitment then India would not be in a position toespouse Sri Lanka’s case in its interaction with the International community.New Delhiwould be reluctantly compelled to maintain a “hands off”policy when Sri Lanka faces“pressures and problems”from the world at large.Therefore India hopes that Sri Lankawould honour its commitments on Devolution and not push India into adopting an aloof stance vis a vis Sri Lanka. It was emphasised that India had the best interests of itsIsland neighbour and friend at heart and was always prepared to help resolve itspredicament in the sphere of ethnic relations.President Rajapaksa responded by outlining the problems he faced in implementingsome of the powers allocated to Provincial councils in areas such as Police and landsand also stated that the question of provincial council powers can be resolved throughthe mechanism of a Parliamentary Select Committee(PSC).President Rajapaksa requested India to use its influence and persuade the TamilNational Alliance(TNA) to participate in the PSC proceedings. Shiv Shankar Menon inreply said that India would convey the Govt request and discuss the issue with theTamil political configuration but would let the TNA arrive at its own decision.
It was also outlined to President Rajapaksa that with or without the TNA the situationat present was one where the PSC seemed to lack representation from allstakeholders. Apart from the TNA, the United National Party(UNP),Sri Lanka Muslim