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Sunday, 26 May 2013





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Government Gazette

UPFA partners take overwhelming stand:

JHU motion to abrogate 13thA faces sure defeat

A private member’s motion by Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) leader Minister Champika Ranawaka calling for the abrogation of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution slated to come up before Parliament next week has all the trappings of being defeated judging by the stand taken by an overwhelming majority of UPFA coalition partners except the National Freedom Front headed by Minister Wimal Weerawansa, political sources said.

The present Parliament elected in 2010 consists of three JHU MPs and only one from the NFF in the ruling UPFA while the rest are from the SLFP, SLMC, CWC, EPDP, MEP, CP and LSSP.

The JHU fears that in the event of the Tamil National Alliance being elected to rule the proposed NPC it could pave the way for a Tamil Eelam state since the TNA was notorious as an LTTE proxy during the hey days of the latter and the Hela Urumaya was of the opinion that the hard fought victory gained after sacrificing thousands of lives and defeating the ruthless LTTE could be reversed. Elections to the NPC would be conducted in the predominantly Tamil majority districts of Jaffna, Vavuniya, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu and Mannar.

The Government has categorically said that elections to the Northern PC will be held in early September and that a statement issued months ago in this regard had not been waivered since. This was reiterated at last week’s post cabinet press briefing by Acting Cabinet spokesman Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa. The latest statement has sent shockwaves to the leadership and the rank and file of the JHU and NFFF, hence the motion intended to abrogate the 13th Amendment.

Asked to comment on the Government’s plans to go ahead with the NPC elections TNA parliamentarian, Attorney-at-Law M.A. Sumanthiran said that his party has nothing to comment and added that the Government has to implement the provisions of the Constitution. “The rift with the JHU and NFF is an internal matter,” he said.

Queried as to why the TNA failed to be represented in the Parliamentary Select Committee, Sumanthiran said that the Government abruptly ended the bilateral talks held with the TNA to find a solution to the problem by not sending its representatives for the scheduled meetings on January 17, 18 and 19 last year.

On the JHU proposal to abrogate the 13th Amendment, Sri Lanka Muslim Congress General Secretary and parliamentarian Hassan Ali said that the SLMC was totally against the abrogation. ”The present powers vested in Provincial Councils are insufficient to fulfill the just aspirations of the minorities. Moves to abrogate the 13 A only manifests the mentality of those who propagate this, Hassan Ali said and added that the SLMC would contest the NPC elections as a separate party and not in coalition with any other.

CWC General Secretary and parliamentarian Muththu Sivalingam said that there may be individual opinions from various quarters but the 13 A should be viewed from the perspective of the general well-being of the country.”As it is, we have enough internal problems and external interference. We welcome President Rajapaksa’s stand to go ahead with the NPC elections and expect it to include police and land powers intact,” Sivalingam said.

“The JHU motion will be confined to the Order Paper”, parliamentarian and Sri Lanka Communist Party leader and Minister D.E.W.Gunasekera said. The JHU fears it could lead to Eelam but I would say that such a scenario could be possible without a vibrant Northern Provincial Council, the veteran communist said. LSSP parliamentarian and Minister Prof. Tissa Vitaharna could not be contacted for his views since he was out of the country.



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