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Wimal says Ranil has no mandate to implement 13A

Wimal says Ranil has no mandate to implement 13A

29 Jan 2023 | BY Buddhika Samaraweera

Recalling that none of the former Presidents had fully implemented the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, National Freedom Front (NFF) Leader and MP Wimal Weerawansa claimed that President Ranil Wickremesinghe – who was rejected by the people, entered the Parliament through the National List, and then became the President – has no right to fully implement the said Amendment.

Speaking at a meeting, he said that Wickremesinghe, who became the President by claiming that he would save the country from the prevailing economic crisis, is now going to fully implement the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. He claimed that late President J.R. Jayewardene, who introduced the 13th Amendment, did not do it willingly, but due to the pressure exerted by India at the time. Even though it was introduced during Jayewardene’s Presidency, he said that none of the former Presidents, including slain Ranasinghe Premadasa, late D.B. Wijetunga, Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, and Mahinda Rajapaksa had not implemented some of its provisions.

“With the 13th Amendment, Police powers had been given by the Constitution and the establishment of a Police force with a Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) who is loyal to the Chief Minister of the relevant Province had been allowed. The provinces had also been given powers to form Provincial Land Commissions, but these provisions were not implemented. Why did Jayewardene, Premadasa, and Wijetunga not do it? Kumaratunga, who introduces herself as a federalist, also did not fully implement this Amendment,” he said.

“The National List MP who became the President is trying to do what Jayewardene, Premadasa, Wijetunga, and Kumaratunga did not do. How does he have such power? Wickremesinghe was rejected by the public and defeated in the Parliamentary election. Can he play with the fate of this country? He has no right to establish provincial Police and Land Commissions and implement the provisions so as to appoint someone who the Chief Minister wants as the Governor. Wickremesinghe cannot be allowed to accomplish the task that he has been trying to do for years. It should be prevented,” added Weerawansa.

President Wickremesinghe stated early this month that the Government is considering the full implementation of the 13th Amendment within the next few years. An all-party meeting was held last week during which the matter was discussed, but many attendees of the said meeting have criticised the President’s preparations to fully implement the said Amendment.

On 29 July 1987, the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord was signed between then-Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Jayewardene, which highlighted the devolution of powers to the provinces. Subsequently, on 14 November 1987, the Parliament passed the 13th Amendment to the Constitution and the Provincial Councils Act No. 42 of 1987 to establish Provincial Councils (PC). The Amendment aims at establishing PCs with Police and land powers and enables Sinhala and Tamil as national languages while maintaining English as the link language.



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