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Elections to Local Bodies and Tamil issue While the rest of the country preferred the UPFA (it won 250 out of the 335 local bodies in the country), the North was firmly with the TNA (30 local bodies). The sweeping victory of the Tamil National Alliance in local elections in Sri Lanka's North lends a fresh perspective to talks with the government that lie ahead. THE Tamil National Alliance (TNA), an umbrella organisation of parties that openly supported the secessionist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The elections have cleared the air once again on which party represented the Tamils of the North. The issue? Twenty six months after the war ended, Sri Lanka has still not found a political solution to Tamil Problem. The prospective political solution came to be known as 13th Amendment-plus,' with nobody apparently clear about the specifics. The results of elections to local bodies, held on March 17, 2011 and July 23, 2011 and subsequent comments made by Sinhalese and Tamil leaders clearly indicate that the ethnic divide in Sri Lanka is getting sharpened. Some government moves of concern there have been reports of lower level officials, who only know Sinhala, being posted to the North. Tamils in that region, unlike those in the plantations, hardly speak the Sinhala language. Opposition politicians have also expressed concern over the resettlement of ex-servicemen along the A-9 highway that leads to Jaffna from Colombo. issue of missing persons: The chaotic last phase of the war, in which civilians were trapped between the Army's shells and the LTTE firepower, led to the loss of a large number of lives and many disappearances. Many persons are yet to be accounted for. War crimes and International concerns The report of the United Nations Secretary General's Expert Panel on Accountability in Sri Lanka, which has held both the government and the LTTE responsible for the mass civilian casualties during the last stages of the war (There is also the U.S. State department report for 2010, the Human Rights Watch report on Sri Lanka and the International Crisis Group report). The second is a Channel 4 video that showed what it asserted were extra-judicial killings and other atrocities in Sri Lanka. The third item is a book The Cage , authored by an insider,' Gordon Weiss, former U.N. spokesperson in Sri Lanka, castigating Sri Lanka's handling of the final stages of the war and faulting the international community for doing little to limit civilian casualties. Sri Lankan response Ever since the release of the United Nations report, Sri Lanka has been on a diplomatic offensive, seeking to win friends across the globe. China, Russia, and a few other countries have openly supported the Sri Lankan viewpoint that the country was being unnecessarily victimised and that the U.N. Report did not help reconciliation in any manner. The release of the Channel 4 video and the Weiss book also saw Sri Lankan diplomats defend their country combatively across western capitals and even in Colombo. Role of India:

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and with the pace of working out a 13th Amendment-plus political settlement in the post-conflict period. Eighteenth Amendment to the 1978 Constitution of Sri Lanka limit of the re-election of the President removed. Background: Amendment Provisions Most provisions of the Constitution of Sri Lanka could be amended by a two-thirds majority. one of Sri Lanka's staunchest allies. religion. and for the establishment of Provincial Councils. full implementation of 13th Amendment demanded again and again to give Tamils better citizenship. and Supreme Court judges. However. and reference to Sri Lanka as a unitary state require a two-thirds majority and approval through a national referendum. Sri Lanka's big neighbour has undertaken in the North. y y . human rights. especially the massive housing programme. y y Background: Thirteenth Amendment(1987) To make Tamil an official language and English a link Language. But there is also evidence of Indian tardiness in implementing the rebuilding work. for which India has offered wide-spectrum support. the amendment of certain basic features such as the clauses on language. is somewhat impatient with the pace of rehabilitation and rebuilding in the Northern Province.y India. propose the appointment of a parliamentary council that decides the appointment of independent posts like commissioners of election.

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