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Monday, 19 November 2012






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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 people.

He said if the 13th Amendment is to be repealed, an appropriate mechanism should be put in place that addresses the grievances of the Tamils.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 said.

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 Tamil diaspora.

“This is the result of a sinister agenda to divide the country,” the minister said.

“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,” he said.

“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.


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