As talks with Tamils drag on , Ranil pledges full implementation of 13th Amendment

Source: The post is based on the article “As talks with Tamils drag on , Ranil pledges full implementation of 13th Amendment” published in The Hindu on 16th January 2023.

What is the News?

The Sri Lankan President has promised to fully implement the 13th amendment of the Constitution.

What is the 13th amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution?

It is an outcome of the Indo-Lanka Accord of July 1987 signed by then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and President J.R. Jayawardene in an attempt to resolve Sri Lanka’s ethnic conflict.

The amendment led to the creation of Provincial Councils and assured a power-sharing arrangement to enable all nine provinces in the country, including Sinhala majority areas to self-govern. 

Subjects such as education, health, agriculture, housing, land and police are devolved to the provincial administrations but because of restrictions on financial powers and overriding powers given to the President, the provincial administrations have not made much headway.

In particular, the provisions relating to police and land have never been implemented.

What was the Sri Lankan Tamil’s response to the President’s statement?

Tamil National Alliance(TNA), the main grouping representing Tamils in the north and east in Parliament has presented a document of specific actions that can be taken immediately in this regard such as 1) setting up a national land commission and provincial police forces, 2) amending or reversing certain acts to restore power to the provincial councils and 3) giving provincial councils the necessary administrative powers to run schools and hospitals.

 

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