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News


Minister blocks implementation of 13th Amendment

A top government minister appears to be blocking government moves to implement the 13th Amendment, The Nation learns.
The minister, a senior Tamil politician, has voiced his disapproval against President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s decision to appoint seasoned former Parliamentarian V. Anandasangaree to head the Northern Council.

“The Tamil minister has objected to the appointment and has instead demanded that he be given control of the council once it is established,” sources said. According to the sources, objections raised by the minister have caused the delay in implementing the provisions of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, and to gazette the setting up of the Interim Councils for the North and East Provinces.

“This politician cannot head the Council for the simple reason that when you are a minister, the Constitution does not permit you to get into the provincial set up,” they noted.

The Nation reliably learns that India has expressed support towards the Northern Council being led by a non-LTTE moderate politico, who is neither a pro-LTTE nor anti-LTTE. Supporter, but maintains a moderate outlook.

The Nation early this month, reported that President Rajapaksa is likely to announce the full implementation of the provisions of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution shortly.

Rajapaksa is expected to implement this before the scheduled visit of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Sri Lanka. Prime Minister Singh is expected to attend Sri Lanka’s Diamond Jubilee of independence on February 4 next year as chief guest.

Successive governments failed to implement the provisions of the 13th Amendment fully, enabling the provinces to administer their areas as separate entities.

The government is now planning to devolve the areas of law and order to the two provinces, which have hitherto been under the control of the central government.

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