13a is implemented but a failure- 36 of the 37 subjects have been devolved!
Posted on October 30th, 2017

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. 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 UNHRC’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 and only to the North or East?

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.

– Shenali D Waduge

10 Responses to “13a is implemented but a failure- 36 of the 37 subjects have been devolved!”

  1. SA Kumar Says:

    13a is implemented but a failure- 13A is created for only NEPC now only implement in NPC (Saiva TE) it is working EPC (Muslim TE).

  2. Dilrook Says:

    The government knows very well it cannot pass a new constitution. The process followed so far is illegal, the Maha Sangha are opposed to it and it even reduces the electoral fortunes of the UNP. The plan is to use the new constitution to terrorize the people and sneakily pass 13 Plus which doesn’t require 2/3. 13 Plus is 13A plus more powers to the provinces. It was agreed within the UPFA in 2013 and therefore has wide agreement within SLFP and UNP.

    In other words it is Tamil Eelam minus a few percentages and federalism plus.

    This is Chelva’s “a little now more later” approach now paddled by Sinhala Chelvas.

  3. Fran Diaz Says:

    This type of sneaky Separatism does not work anywhere.

    Take the Catalonia experience :
    Only 43% of the total voting population of Catalonia voted in that election to Separate from Spain. This shows that most people of Catalonia did not even want to participate in the Separation exercise.
    Of this 43%, only a mere 30% said ‘Yes’ to Separation !

    Sri Lanka Tamils live all over the island, not only in N&E. They are more predominant in Colombo than any other group !
    There are more Tamil people living out of the North than in the North.

    Tamils of Lanka have NO case to claim Separation.

    Besides all that, the 13-A is ILLEGAL, as it was imposed under Duress by INDIA on the JRJ govt in 1987.
    Building on the 13-A to give 13-A PLUS is therefore also iLLEGAL.

  4. Lorenzo Says:

    My beloved Singhala Modayas,

    The CATHOLIC head of the country has ONCE AGAIN for the 10th time demanded NOT TO TURN SL SECULAR. Why can’t POLITICIANS and parties have a BACKBONE he has?

    Do you STILL believe these politicians can SAVE SL? Get real. ONLY the MILITARY+SANGHA can save SL.

    MR is touring Endia when ALL MPs should be in parliament and OPPOSE the NEW CON-STITUTION! He is up to his USUAL AVOIDING GAME. He AVOIDED VOTING AGAINST 2 UNP budgets, He AVOIDED the OMP ACT. He AVOIDED many other important events in parliament. What is the USE of a politician who is ALWAYS MISSING IN ACTION when needed????

  5. Senerath Says:

    Sangha is there already ! Military is silent .

  6. Senerath Says:

    If this ‘Buddhist’ without moral fear and moral shame can preach Bana to Shingala Muniya, surely we all must be Modayas.
    Where is the bloody Huru Mattha Nadu con-institution to discuss ?
    You yourself said people are scared baselesly without even seeing it ?
    Are the Battaramulla koombiyos want to discuss without seeing it ?

    All Party, Religious Conference to discuss Constitution
    Tuesday, October 31, 2017 – 01:15

    Rakshana Sriyantha

    President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday said that an All Party Conference and an All Religious Conference will be convened to discuss the proposed new Constitution with an objective of dispelling some misconceptions within some quarters. The President also said that a forum consisting of members of academic and the intelligensia will also be called to discuss the proposed Constitution.

    President Sirisena is hopeful that the issues pertaining to the Constitution can be solved after the proposed Constitution is brought up for discussion and the necessary amendments introduced to it at these forums.

    The President was speaking at the National Convention of activists of reconciliation societies and National Civil Society Federation, organised by the Ministry of National Co-existence Dialogue and Official Languages at the Sugathadasa Indoor stadium yesterday.

    All political parties represented Parliament and all religious leaders in the country are to be invited to participate at these forums.

    The President was of the view that rabble-rousers are not capable of solving problems.

    The President invited the members of the Maha Sangha and the clergy representing other religious denominations,the learned community and experts to solve the issues through discussion.

    “No issue can be solved when we are divided. Everyone has the right to work intelligently and find solutions to the country’s issues collectively,” President Sirisena said.

  7. SA Kumar Says:

    Fran Diaz
    Tamils of Lanka have NO case to claim Separation.- We-Ilankai Demila never want TE , We only ask (warn) you after 1956 to 1983 Tamil Vesak festivals even Amirthalingam was agreed to settle with District level devaluation ( Our VVT 7th grade dropped out one & only Self declare Thesiya Thalaivar VP’S is different story- He only settled with TE no less or no more ).

    Now ,Today in OUR Parliament Hon Sampanthan also following 100% Amirthalingam/ Chelvanayaham policy to settle Undivided United Sinhela Island ( Chignhala Naadu/Desa).

  8. SA Kumar Says:

    Fran Diaz
    so up to Sinhela people to support Hon Sampanthan fot United Mother Lanka or loose part of country to Hindhu nationalist (RSS) Hindustan than as you warm caslte cancer will spread to all our Mother Lanka which We both Mother Lanka deadly against .

    all in hand of You OUR Chignkala Sakotharam TODAY now !!!!!

  9. SA Kumar Says:

    Military is silent .- Sure We do not want 2nd IPKF to kick them out We need our one & only Thesiya Thalaivar VP !

    Velu where are you Thalai ???

  10. SA Kumar Says:

    Senerath
    If this ‘Buddhist’ without moral fear and moral shame can preach Bana to Shingala Muniya, surely we all must be Modayas.-
    is not that Karma We both believe ???

    We-Tamil paid for OUR karma on May 2009 , is it you time now Sinhela sakodarayas now ???

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