Sri Lanka : Who says 13th amendment is NOT IMPLEMENTED?
Posted on June 4th, 2014

Shenali D Waduge

Some birds like to chirp the same song. 13th amendment has come to be that song. The singers of course are many though we must wonder whether they have even read the 13th amendment. But, they enjoy nagging about the non-implementation of the 13th amendment at every forum be it at UNHRC, UN delegations or even during the chit chats and handshakes when diplomats and foreign envoys arrive in Sri Lanka. The 13th amendment is quite a fashionable topic and just mentioning the word is meant to scare the day lights out of our politicians.

The 13th amendment comes with the emphasis on devolution of powers and one wonders what the foreigners actually mean by ‘meaningful’ devolution. For devolution to become ‘meaningful’ must it satisfy the foreign entities or should it be relevant and useful to the citizens of Sri Lanka? An answer is rarely given and we hear only the 13tha chorus.

But, we need to get something cleared out with regard to the items that were listed to be devolved.

Firstly, what are to be devolved.

Secondly, how can the items to be devolved be actually devolved. This is important because simply because the 1st says to devolve, the 2nd factor must operate within the legal framework of the Constitution of Sri Lanka (not India, not America’s, not UK’s, not Navi Pillay’s or Canada’s).

Who says that the powers assigned to be devolved have not been devolved?

Executive power is exercised by the Government who is appointed by the President of Sri Lanka and the Legislative powers are exercised by the Provincial Councils.

List 1 contains 37 subjects to be devolved. These subjects come under the legislative powers given to the Provinces. Executive and Legislative powers of the 7 provinces have been devolved and in operation since 1987.

The Government cannot be blamed if the 7 Provincial Councils have been ineffective and while police powers have not been given the efficiency of running the 36 subjects are questioned.

In the case of the Northern and Eastern Provinces, the appointment of Governors had been made since 1987.

Just because the Provincial Councils have not been given Police or Land powers, the Provincial Councils cannot complain that powers have not been devolved. The 36 subjects that have been devolved to them are evidence to deny this claim.

Police powers and Land Powers have NOT BEEN devolved to any of the other provinces. It has been denied for national security reasons.

Moreover, the Supreme Court ruling has held land powers under the Government “State land shall continue to vest in the Republic…”.

What needs to be made clear is that apart from Police powers, all other 36 subjects have been devolved to ALL 9 Councils and they can make statutes and implement the devolved powers on education, local government, roads and bridges, social service, agriculture, agrarian services, rural development, health etc.

In addition, the List III, gives a Concurrent List that the PCs can exercise concurrently with the Central Government.

Why is the Northern Province and Foreign Governments and India insisting on police powers to the North?

When the PC system has been running throughout Sri Lanka ever since 1987 without police and land powers given, why are the foreign governments insisting on police and land powers after the Northern Provincial Council began functioning following the end of terror? Why did India or any of the foreign governments not chirp this song in relation to the other provincial councils of Sri Lanka? 

Moreover, is it not relevant too that with more Tamils living outside the Northern Provincial Council, if they can live without land and police powers and have been doing so since 1987, why should Tamils of the Northern Province only seek land and police powers?

Lets not forget that when the first merged North-East elections was held, the EPRLF ran the Provincial Council without land or police powers! India never brought up issue of 13tha with land and police powers then and neither did any of the other foreign governments presently breathing fire down the Government.

Moreover, does it matter who administers law and order, so long as law and order prevails?

Without chirping the 13tha not been implemented song what the international community must start asking is what have the Northern Provincial Council being doing with the subjects that have been devolved and under their purview? This is where our former Supreme Court Judge and Chief Minister will get stuck in answering. What has he and his TNA done for the People of the North ever since they took over the Northern Province with the money that the Government has been allocating? Is this not a better song?

Let’s not forget that if it is the question of 13tha being devolved ” it has been since 1987. Simply because certain subjects that have national security interests have not been devolved it is not a case to say that 13tha has not been implemented.

Next is the need to tell the Northern Province that is making the most noise about 13tha not being implemented to get on with what they have first. When people of the North who did not vote for the Members have to put up with them, then Wigneswaran and team must learn to get on with the Governor that the President of Sri Lanka has appointed.

Moreover, given the historical links of the TNA to LTTE terror, any Government will be considered insane to grant police powers and the public continues to question why the Government is hesitant to use 6th amendment against the politicians who make up the TNA for their open canvassing of separatism in Sri Lanka.

What the chorus on 13tha need to also realize is that there is a Constitutional provision to treat all citizens equally which immediately checks the present calls for ONLY Tamils and their aspirations to be addressed. This is something that the Government needs to make clear about in issuing statements at all international forums without simply promising to look into the aspirations of the Tamils and realizing that they cannot because it would undermine the aspirations of the rest of the people in Sri Lanka. The lack of clarity has been one key reason for everyone to be continuously running round the mulberry bush and going round in circles for decades. The handouts engaging Sri Lanka to promise 13tha ” full, plus and any other adjectives used should now cease in the light of the ground realities that 36 subjects are well in control of the Provincial Councils and it is really time to stop fooling the public.

19 Responses to “Sri Lanka : Who says 13th amendment is NOT IMPLEMENTED?”

  1. SA Kumar Says:

    Who says 13th amendment is NOT IMPLEMENTED? GOSL ! Our Hon MR said, he gives 13 plus not 13 ?
    Modi & lady with our Daddy – come start now !!!

  2. Lorenzo Says:

    Dayan says GR will enter politics in 2015 contesting election from Colombo district.

    He says GR said this in an interview.

    IF TRUE this is the BEST thing ever happened to SL politics which is ANYWAY hopeless. But it is the next best thing to patriotic rule of the country.

    I think GR’s move comes after Weerawansa threatened to leave govt. IF Weerawansa leaves (FOR GOOD REASONS), GR can more than get his votes.

    I want GR to be the president. Certainly NOT BR or NR junk!

    Dear GR, the nation begs you to take the driving wheel because it CANNOT continue in this hopeless cesspit anymore. Any Modi can dictate terms to us. We have NO ruler.

  3. Lorenzo Says:

    In another move FAT LOLITA has demanded Modi to make Tamil an official language in Endia.

    I think we should support it. Then we can SCRAP Tamil as an official language in SL.

    BAD for Endia, good for SL.

  4. Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha Says:

    Quoting the article:”The 1st says to devolve, the 2nd factor must operate within the legal framework of the Constitution of Sri Lanka (not India, not America’s, not UK’s, not Navi Pillay’s or Canada’s).” and “But, they enjoy nagging about the non-implementation of the 13th amendment at every forum be it at UNHRC, UN delegations or even during the chit chats and handshakes when diplomats and foreign envoys arrive in Sri Lanka. The 13th amendment is quite a fashionable topic and just mentioning the word is meant to scare the day lights out of our politicians.”

    Okay here is a radical idea for radicals (by that I mean some foreign heads of state who only bring up the 13th amendment to please their Tamil constituencies)

    Time for some Quid Pro Quo. What does Sri Lanka gain in the devolution of powers to the provinces? Short of another attempt at Eelam nothing. Here is a (radical) solution:

    Since the nations who push for the 13th amendment also have granted citizenship to Tamil refugees regardless if they are affiliated or were affiliated with the LTTE during the time of war it would be an appropriate gesture for these nations to accept the Sri Lankan Tamils and once that is done then the devolution of the land and police powers can be done.

    From India, to the United Kingdom, the United States to Canada to name but a few who keep pushing for the devolution of the land and police acts and were responsible either in supporting the Tamil Tigers during the war or played host to close to a million Tamils seeking a better way of life by using the “refugee” card to a fast track to first world nations these nations are responsible in so many ways to the carnage of Asia’s longest war.

    If they are responsible for that then they can be equally responsible in hosting millions more of Sri Lanka’s Tamil population who will give them all the freedoms they claim is denied in Sri Lanka. In exchange for this reparation Colombo will then devolve those powers once the northern and eastern provinces are repopulated by the Buddhist Sinhalese majority. Then the disgruntled Sri Lankan Tamils will be happy, these host nations will be happy and so will Sri Lanka. Quid Pro Quo.

  5. Ananda-USA Says:

    GOOD, but NOT GOOD ENOUGH! Not only POLICE Powers, but LAND Powers should also be DENIED to Provincial Councils.

    What we REALLY NEED is for the India-imposed 13th Amendment to be REPEALED and the Provincilas Councils to be uprooted from Sri Lanka. Instead of Provinces which are TOO LARGE relative to the country as a whole.

    DISTRICTS administered by GOVERNMENT AGENTS, APPOINTED by the ELECTED National Government, should be adopted as the units of regional administration.

    Let us END this interminable DEBATE. The GOSL take the steps needed to CAST OFF these ILLEGAL Indian Shackles, imposed by force under military occupation, that bind the hands and feet of our Motherland.

    India should be CATEGORICALLY TOLD to BUTT OUT of Sri Lanka’s Internal Affairs. Sri Lanka won’t mess with India’s underwear, if India keep its nose out of Sri Lankas. Quid Pro Quo!

    …………………………….
    Sri Lanka again rejects devolving police powers to provincial councils

    ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

    June 04, Colombo: Sri Lanka reiterating its stance on devolving police powers to provincial councils Wednesday said it is not the policy of the government to provide police powers to any provincial council in the country.

    External Affairs Minister Professor G.L. Peiris speaking in parliament today said the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has clearly pointed out to India during his discussions with the Indian government that adverse effects will result in the country by devolving such powers.

    “We made it crystal clear that devolution of police power is not acceptable,” Prof. Peiris told parliament.

    Responding to a question raised by the Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe in parliament today on the issues Sri Lankan President discussed with the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during their recent meeting in New Delhi, the Minister said the constitutional matters have not been discussed in depth with India and only issues that are of mutual interest have been discussed at length.

    During the meeting between the two leaders held on 27 May, the Indian Prime Minister stressed on the early and full implementation of the 13th Amendment and going beyond to expedite the process of national reconciliation in a manner that meets the aspirations of the Tamil community for a life of equality, justice, peace and dignity in a united Sri Lanka.

    The government has consistently said that it would resort to a power devolution process or introduce constitutional changes only through a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) with an extensive political interaction with all political parties and other stakeholders to discuss all the issues related to power devolution, police and land powers to PCs and security issues of the provinces.

    The Sri Lankan parliament in November 2011 approved the setting up of a parliamentary select committee to formulate a political solution to the country’s ethnic issue that is acceptable to all the communities in Sri Lanka.

    However, the opposition parties, including the TNA and main opposition United National Party (UNP) have not made their representations in the committee.

  6. Ananda-USA Says:

    Shenali,

    In addition to asking why Foreign Governments want Police and Land Powers to be devolved to the Provincial Councils, let also ask: Why do Tamil Nadu Leaders continually demand unrestricted Fishing Rights in Sri Lankan waters for Indian Tamil fishermen?

    The answer is the same as for Land and Police rights: Because it makes their NEXT STEPS to PRY OUT and incorporate a large part of Sri Lanka into a Greater Tamil Nadu that much easier.

    LOGISTIC SUPPLY ROUTE for the newly revived Eelamist Insurgency.

    Let us recall that over the 30 year period of the Eelamist Insurgency in Sri Lanka, the PRIMARY MEANS of bringing logistical support (trained terrorist cadre, weapons, ammunition, other supplies) to Sri Lanka was by Fishing Boats from India. IN Sheer Volume, cumulative shipments by this route dwarfed the fewer LARGE shipments of heavy weaponry and ammunition by ocean going vessels.

    In demanding a “Right” for Indian Fishermen to fish anywhere within Sri Lankan waters, they are not only trying to establish fishing rights for their MUCH LARGER FISHING FLEET at the expense of Sri Lanka, but also the RIGHT to mingle with Sri Lankan Tamil fishing boats and resurrect the old weapons logistics supply route to revive the Tamil Insurgency in Sri Lanka. To this end, the Tamil Nadu government is ACTIVELY PROMOTING and EXACERBATING this conflict.

    ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION to change Sri Lanka’s Demographics

    In addition, this Fishing Route could also become the means by which a STREAM of ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS could be INSERTED into Sri Lanka.

    As I have repeatedly pointed out before, the insertion of over 1 million illegal immigrants into Sri Lanka over the last 35 years, has led to an INCREASE in the Tamil population of Sri Lanka despite the EMIGRATION of over 1.5 million Tamils from Sri Lanka to other countries. This is supported by the latest Census. We must therefore ask, did they form the Prabhakaran’s human shield and do they now comprise the TNA’s support base …. ALL Illegal Immigrants?

    With POLICE Power in the hands of the Provincial Council dominated by the TNA, there would be NO government effort to prevent this ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION.

    With LAND Power in the hands of the Provincial Council dominated by the TNA, there would be no government effort to protect against ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS being settled on these lands.

    With Land Power and Police Power, registration documents can easily be forged and fabricated to establish that the new illegal immigrants are “long time residents” of Sri Lanka who “owned” that land. If original documents are demanded, they can always claim that they were “destroyed” in the “Eelam Wars” of the preceding 30 years.

    IT IS IMPERATIVE that the GOSL DOES NOT BACK DOWN on

    1. Protecting Sri Lanka’s Offshore Waters and Maritime Resources
    2. Denying POLICE and LAND powers to UNREPENTANT Separatists.

    Provinces do not need these powers, for Sri Lanka is too small a country for SO MANY HIERARCHICAL LEVELS of sub-national government. They only create

    MORE threats to the nation’s territorial and societal integrity,
    MORE barriers to getting anything done by the long suffering people, and
    MORE non-performing parasitic do-nothing politicians and officials to be supported at the tax-payer’s expense.

    Just GET RID OF the 13th Amendment, and DISMANTLE the Provincial Council System, NOW!

  7. Ananda-USA Says:

    Yes Indeed, HANG this Monumental CRIME on the neck of the TNA as a Genocide!

    ……………………….
    Ex-Policemen to Missing Persons Commission: Revisit massacre of 600 policemen

    DailyNews.lk
    June 4, 2014

    The Retired Senior Police Officers’ Association members have urged the Presidential Commission to Investigate into Complaints Regarding Missing Persons to pursue the matter regarding the murder of 600 policemen in June 1990.

    The Association led by its President C.R. Abeygunawardena held a meeting with Commission Chairman Retired Justice Maxwell Paranagama at the Commission office on Monday during which a memorandum was submitted by the representatives urging the Commission to pursue the matter regarding the murder of 600 Policemen in the Eastern Province in June 1990.

    The Association representatives requested the Commission Chairman to ascertain from the Police Department whether the 600 Policemen who were killed by the LTTE in Ampara have been duly honoured by posthumous promotions, payments of salaries until the age of retirement, payment of widows and orphans pensions to the kith and kin and any other compensation to the dependents of the slain officers, a media release issued by the Commission stated.

    Association members also urged the Commission Chairman to ascertain from the IGP the results of the investigation referred to in the file containing reports by the CID as per Inquiry No C403/92/CM & PA/IG/75/92 of March 5, 1992. Justice Paranagama assured Senior Police Officers’ Association representatives that the Commission will take up the matter with the Police Department and provide answers to the questions raised by the Association members.

  8. Marco Says:

    It took all of 10 days for GOSL and the Local Press to report on the 13th Amendment discussions between Modi & MR and that too via Parliament by fall-guy Prof G L P who was not present at these discussions.
    We were fed with Fisherman stories and the goodwill gestures. How long is this Goodwill gestures on law breakers going to continue.
    In the meantime Jaffna Mayoress Yogeswari Patkunarajah who was part of the entourage attending the meeting was interviewed by NDTV last Tuesday and gave a good account of the discussions especially with regard to the 13th Amendment.
    Refer to also the press statement by the External Affairs Ministry of India.
    I wonder who is not exactly being truthful.

  9. Lorenzo Says:

    Tamil racist FAT LOLITA’s demands to Modi include.

    “I request that India should sponsor a resolution in the United Nations condemning the genocide in Sri Lanka and to hold to account all those responsible for the genocide and thereby render justice to the Tamils in Sri Lanka. The resolution should also provide for holding a Referendum amongst Tamils in Sri Lanka and displaced Sri Lankan Tamils across the world for formation of a separate Tamil Eelam.”

    Modi has NOTHING to lose from Tamils. Tamils are UNIMPORTANT for Modi’s stay in power. Lets see if Modi falls in to the same trap his predecessors fell into.

  10. Nanda Says:

    Anada,
    I someone loves out motherland we should demand a new constitution with new governing structure.
    Not only 13A , various nonsence in the constitution MUST GO. Provincial Councils (Crime Councils) MUST GO. CRIMINAL POLITIKKOS must be sent to Saudi to be hanged in public. The whole system that produced these buggers must go.

    Mervyn said recently he has a house in every country he visit. He says money he has is from his businessman father. One of my friends knows his childhood even. His father was a small Mudalali. This is why I say this massive corruption too must end.
    As Lorenzo said Gota as the next president is the best solution to all. He is a good “Tick Ball” player. Maa-Hinda MUST GO.

  11. aloy Says:

    Nanda and Lorenzo,
    Two of you do not live in SL and therefore do not get the correct picture. The whole system needs to be changed, new blood who knows how to deal with Endia and the west should come in. Our problems with Endia did not start 30-40 years ago; it was perhaps even longer than 5000 years. I think Athureliye and Patali can make a start. Patali seems to have a correct perspective of the world today. I have read one of his recent interviews. All other patriotic forces in Diyawanna should support them. Many of them have become vulnerable due to involvement in some deal or the other and therefore cannot come out openly.

  12. Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha Says:

    “in a manner that meets the aspirations of the Tamil community for a life of equality, justice, peace and dignity in a united Sri Lanka.” I am so sick and tired of reading the “aspirations of the Tamil community” Damn the Tamil community and damn their aspirations!!!
    It was due to those “aspirations” that Sri Lanka was plunged into a 30 year long war. When Colombo won the war the “Tamil aspirations” was to slam Sri Lanka with human rights issues since the end of the war and would have gone even further with Sanctions if level headed nations did not intervene.
    HOW ABOUT SINHALESE ASPIRATIONS FOR AT LEAST ONCE???? Every rag tag nation from here to Timbuktu wants to address the miserable “Tamil Aspirations” when those “aspirations” have brought living hell upon Sri Lanka and all those effected by it, ESPECIALLY THE UNMENTIONED BUDDHIST SINHALESE. TIME FOR ADDRESSING SINGHALESE ASPIRATIONS.

  13. Ananda-USA Says:

    RELIGIOUS CLEANSING by LTTE revealed: Ancient Buddhist Temple in Kilinochchi was destroyed!

    ………………
    Archaeologists find Buddhist ruins in Sri Lanka’s former battlefield in North

    ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

    June 05, Kilinochchi: Sri Lanka Army troops conducting routine operations have come across a site with scattered ruins of a Buddhist temple in the former LTTE stronghold of Kilinochchi, the Army said Wednesday.

    At the request of Commander of Security Forces Headquarters in Kilinochchi, Major General Sudantha Ranasinghe, a team of archaeologists has arrived at the site and begun extensive investigations.

    According to the Army, the archaeologists have unearthed several Buddhist artefacts belong to the historic Polonnaruwa era including slates, ancient bricks and Sri Pada symbols in excavations carried out in Kilinochchi, Sivanagar and Uriththirapuram.

    They have succeeded in finding ruins, identical to a Pagoda of 60 ft in diameter and about 12 ft in height, stacks of ancient layers of bricks, slates with Sri Pada symbol, stone posts with prints of Sri Pada in the middle, etc, all the hallmarks that confirm the existence of a Buddhist temple in the Polonnaruwa period.

    The archaeologists have declared the site a sacred site, pending further excavations, extensive research and comprehensive evaluation, alerting the security forces as well as government authorities of the new discovery.

    According to the information Army obtained from the residents, a small Pulleyar Kovil had occupied the site from the 1940s and been replaced by the Shivam Kovil which was built in 1980s and is still standing.

    A Kurukkal (chief priest) in 1965 while clearing the jungles around a Kovil had found a Pagoda, some Buddha statues, stone carvings as well as a Bo tree in the premise but the LTTE who controlled the area for nearly 30 years have allegedly destroyed the Buddhist artifacts.

    It has been found that a 4 to 6 foot tall Samadhi Buddha statue and a statue of a lion plus a moonstone had existed at the site. The terrorists had however felled the Bo tree and replaced it with a Palmyrah tree later on before the place was called ‘Nagalingam’.

    Major General Sudantha Ranasinghe, Commander, SFHQ-KLN, Colonel N.P Akuranthilake, 662 Brigade Commander and several senior officers visited the location soon after its discovery by troops serving there.

  14. Lorenzo Says:

    Aloy,

    An outright MILITARY TAKEOVER is the best for SL. But that is NOT going to happen soon.

    So a COMPROMISE is needed. GR is a STRICT disciplinarian. He stands for LAW AND ORDER. He is a viable compromise.

    Athureliye and Patali have NOT ACHIEVED anything. They are only BIG TALKERS. Not good organizers or workers. GR is an excellent RESULTS ORIENTED man, a poor talker.

    GR is the ONLY person who REPEATEDLY DEMANDED 13 amendment be scrapped.

  15. aloy Says:

    Lorenzo,
    It is very clear that Modi is dancing to the tune of TN. If not why did he invite the President of Mauritious which is a tamil dominated country and the only other Asian country that worked against us?. It is also not a SARC country. We do not have a deterrent like a nuke. So, we are definitely going to have problems with Endia and like what Switzerland did against Germany, we too should be ready for an eventuality. Let GR, if he is going to be our leader, quickly organize a volunteer force of about 2million people within the next few months and talk to Endia without fear, instead of visiting their country for deals like the KRRISH. Then, I too will accept him as our dear leader without batting an eye lid. They should use all that money that is currently being wasted on Provincial Councils for this purpose.

  16. Nanda Says:

    10% agree with Aloy’s statement, but sceptical GR would do the job.

  17. Nanda Says:

    sorry 100%

  18. Lorenzo Says:

    Aloy,

    GOOD IDEA. Agree.

    GR is very capable of doing it. He served 20 years in the army. Won 2 medals despite his SLFP background from UNP leadership. Became a computer programer. Not everyone can do that. Even ran a 7-11 shop!! That too not every (or most) ministry secretaries in SL can do. Then he won the UNWINNABLE war in 3 years. He has a MSC in defence and diplomatic studies. VERY WELL CONNECTED to US, ASEAN, Chinese, Pakistani, Endian, Russian, Israeli and other defence officers.

    But GR as SL’s leader should NOT be driven by anti-Endia sentiments (like I have). ANY pro-SL deal should be made with Endia or even north Korea. At the moment GR has to do what MR dictates.

  19. Lorenzo Says:

    GR has been the ONLY fearless SL to stand up to Endia.

    1. When Endia told MOD not to place ANY sea monitoring Chinese radar in Delft, etc. GR told them to GO TO HELL and installed it.

    2. When Endia told SL ONLY to buy weapons from Endia, GR bought weapons from Pakistan, China.

    3. When Endia told SL to stop the war, GR told them OFF.

    4. When MK Narayanan (Endian NSA) BULLIED SL, GR put him in his place.

    5. BLASTED 13 amendment. VOWED to scrap it.

    6. BROUGHT UP the Endian fishermen issue for the first time.

    7. ARRESTED for the first time illegal Endian fishermen.

    8. Stood up to other Endian BS (training LTTE, blaming SL to have a JIHAD training camp, blaming SL to work with ISI, etc.)

    9. If GR’s vision for Colombo city works, we can BUST the ganja, traitor, kallathoni outlook of Colombo city for good.

    There is no one to take up SL national issues with Endia than GR.

    But MR, BR and NR may NOT allow GR to become president.

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