Only Way Forward for a Developed and Peaceful Sri Lanka: Put 13A to a Referendum
Posted on September 30th, 2020

Dilrook Kannangara

Since 13A was imposed on Sri Lanka by India in 1987 with the help of gunboats, an invasive Indian army and Indian sponsored Hindu terrorist groups, a number of progressive laws and constitutional amendments have been blocked as they were inconsistent with the provisions of 13A.

Divi Neguma is one such attempt to take benefits of post-war economic revival (the peace dividend) to people of all corners of the island. But 13A blocked it.

A number of agrarian services acts were passed against 13A provisions and they cannot be implemented in a number of provinces as a result, which is a severe blow to agricultural revival.

13A created nine provinces with extensive powers in the island of just 65,000 square kilometres which is a joke that made Sri Lanka the smallest federal country in the world. Although 13A kept the unitary” clause of the constitution, in reality Sri Lanka is an extreme federal country after 13A where even the parliament cannot pass laws without consulting provincial councils! Somewhat similar to the United States of America and now defunct Soviet Union. Even the Indian federal model allows the parliament to pass any law without consulting states.

The only way to silence local and regional separatists is to present 13A to a referendum. If people reject it, that will be the end of 13A. No matter what international commitments Sri Lanka has, people hold the nation’s sovereignty. Sri Lanka must comply with what the people decide.

The government has the golden opportunity to turn tables on democracy champions. Put 13A to a referendum. Why fear the people if 13A is so good!

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