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Maximum power devolution

SLFP remedy for national problem:

COLOMBO: A political solution with maximum power devolution rather than war is the SLFP stance in solving the current ethnic problem, said Agricultural Development and Agrarian Services Minister and SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena.

He said so delivering the guest lecture at the 7th Business for Peace Forum organised by the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL) at the JAIC Hilton Colombo recently.

Sirisena said the Ethnic problem could not be used by means of Multi barrel guns or T-56 weapons. As much as terrorism the present electoral system too had been an obstacle for peace.

The Minister said it was an accepted fact that people of the North and East had a genuine problem. Sirisena said after the tsunami he was incharge of rehabilitation activities in Trincomalee. In this capacity he virtually visited every village in Trincomalee including villages where the LTTE was active without any hindrance.

The community life in those LTTE affected villages were very pathetic as there had been a severe economic and social setback. Their problem could not be solved by the barrel of a gun. The only solution to their problem lay in a political solution granting maximum power devolution. By saying this he was voicing the grievances of the people of the North and East and not the grievances of the LTTE leader.

Sirisena said the SLFP accepted power devolution as a matter of policy in ensuring comparative peace and economic development. Therefore the SLFP reiterated the need for a system of power devolution in its proposal forwarded to the APRC.

In that the SLFP proposed a system of devolution far in excess of the Provincial Council System. The proposals clearly spelt out the Central Government and the District Unit. It has proposed the maximum possible powers to this District unit, which is in excess of those given by the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.

Terrorism is not the only obstacle to Peace. The other obstacle for peace was the present electoral system. There is an election every two years in this country viz either Presidential, General, Provincial Council or local council election. This system had been a national disaster. In a democracy elections were a pre-requisite for people to elect their rulers.

But elections at very brief intervals not only caused a severe drain of valuable funds but also disrupted community life. Therefore as much as the people of the North and East especially the minorities needed a system of maximum power devolution a charge in the current system of elections was an urgent need of the hour.

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