The Government of India welcomes the successful culmination of elections to three Provincial Councils, including the Northern Provincial Council, on September 21, 2013. The high voter turnout and the enthusiastic participation of various political parties demonstrate the continuing commitment of the people of Sri Lanka to democratic values and elections for representative bodies at various levels, including the Provincial Councils. We have taken note of the observations made by election observers from the Forum of South Asian Election Management Bodies and also the Commonwealth. Overall, it has been acknowledged that the will of the people has been reflected at these elections.
2. The Government of Sri Lanka has honoured its commitment to the international community to hold elections to the Northern Provincial Council. We look forward to the implementation by Government of Sri Lanka of other important commitments made to the international community, including the full implementation of the 13thAmendment and going beyond it.
3. We have noted the positive statements made by the TNA and the Government of Sri Lanka. It is indeed a matter of satisfaction that they have expressed willingness to work with each other for the progress of the people of the Northern Province. We would urge both sides to engage constructively, in a spirit of partnership and mutual accommodation, so that the urgent needs of the people of the Northern Province, which has recently emerged from the throes of a thirty-year long armed conflict, are addressed with a sense of urgency and purpose. Only such a cooperative approach will pave the way for genuine reconciliation between the communities involved.
4. The Government of India is committed to working with both the sides to further this process, so that all communities in Sri Lanka, including the minorities, can feel that they are equal stakeholders in a united Sri Lanka and can look forward to a future marked by equality, justice, dignity and self-respect.
September 24, 2013