Sumanthiran’s ‘useless’ description of 13-A rocks country
TNA MP M A Sumanthiran’s description of the 13th Amendment “as
meaningless and something which had been continuously rejected by his
party,” has taken the country by storm. “The 13th Amendment to the
Constitution is something that we had rejected right through as being
meaningless,” he told Parliament during the recent Budget debate.
The words are reverberating in the civil society and political space
as indicative of the TNA’s doublespeak.
Economic Development Deputy Minister Lashman Yapa Abeywardena for
instance, also recalled how present TNA leader R Sampanthan wanted the
13th Amendment “thrown in the dustbin.”
“Now they are using the 13th Amendment to attack the government,” he
said. The deputy minister said although the 13th Amendment was approved
by a two thirds majority in Parliament, it failed as a solution to the
national problem and neither did it address the problems of the Tamil
He said if the 13th Amendment is to be repealed, an appropriate
mechanism should be put in place that addresses the grievances of the
Tamils. “The government is ready to decentralize power. It has to be
done with the approval of all political parties,” the deputy minister
Disaster Management Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said that Tamil
National Alliance Parliamentarians have rejected the 13th Amendment to
the constitution as “meaningless” and “useless” because they persist in
pursuing a policy of separation, as against a policy of devolution.
Amaraweera said that TNA MP M A Sumanthiran’s apparent rejection of the
13th Amendment was based on the views of LTTE sympathizers and the pro-LTTE
“This is the result of a sinister agenda to divide the country,” the
“If we are to replace the 13th Amendment, there should be a new
mechanism for devolution of power,” Minister Amaraweera said.
“President Mahinda Rajapaksa once said a scheme of power devolution
may be given to the public, and not to terrorists and nor to those who
try to separate the country under the banner of ‘people’s aspirations,”
“If power should be devolved, it should be done in a manner that
would empower the grassroots.
Devolution of power should take place to build a truly integrated
country which is devoid of any communal or religious hatred,” he said.