Friday, 6th June 2014
by Zacki Jabbar
The government said yesterday that it did not have an issue with implementing the 13th Amendment to the Constitution with the exception of police powers.
Asked during the weekly Cabinet Press briefing in Colombo if land and other provisions of 13A with the exception of police powers would be implemented, Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwalle said that the contentious issue was the Tamil National Alliance demand for a Police Commissioner to be appointed by the Northern Province Chief Minister; that could not be granted due to security reasons.
Asked whether the granting of land powers needed to discussed with the relevant stake holders, he replied "It is police powers as demanded by the TNA that cannot be granted. Traffic police and other powers necessary for administrative purposes could be devolved."
Pointing out that India had amended its Constitution 150 times, Minister Rambukwella noted that the 13A had been relevant at the time it was introduced but not in the post war era.
Sri Lanka, the minister said welcomed the new Indian government under the leadership of Narendra Modi since it would give stability to both countries. "We did have certain differences with New Delhi, but it has always stood for an undivided Sri Lanka despite Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha’s repeated calls for the creation of Eelam."