Time to replace 13th Amendment with a more dynamic system: Wigneswaran

Time to replace 13th Amendment with a more dynamic system: Wigneswaran

March 12, 2015   04:40 pm

It is time the 13th Amendment was replaced with a more dynamic system of devolution of powers, according to Sri Lanka’s Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran.

The former Supreme Court judge said: “[The] 13th Amendment can never be the final solution. Be that as it may, we welcome him [Mr. Modi]. We know we have a friend in him. We appreciate his concerns for us, in wanting to come to the North.”

“We would recommend to him that it is time to reconsider the 13th Amendment which was a fallout from the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord of 1987 and to replace it with a more dynamic system that would ensure maximum power sharing for the North and East,” he said responding to The Hindu’s questions via email.

Mr. Modi will be in Sri Lanka on a two-day visit beginning Friday. He will travel to the island’s war-torn Northern Province where Mr. Wigneswaran won a historic provincial election in September 2013.

Ever since the Chief Minister and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) — the main party representing the Northern Tamils — have been pointing to hurdles in governance due to the limited powers.

As “a proponent and an advocate of devolution,” Mr. Modi would appreciate the situation in Sri Lanka, the Chief Minister said. “Especially the inadequacies of the 13th Amendment would no doubt be understood by him. His visit and understanding would be very vital in the ultimate finalisation of our constitutional problems.” From the time Sri Lanka’s ethnic conflict ended in May 2009, New Delhi has been pushing Colombo for the full implementation of the 13th Amendment, following up on former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s earlier assurance. (The Hindu)

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