Why the 13 th Amendment is inimical for our development and how it will create a separate State
Posted on April 27th, 2013

By Garvin Karunaratne Former Government Agent Matara District..

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ I have in several of my Papers detailed as toƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Why the 13 th Amendment should be abolished. I have detailed my experiences in my eighteen yearsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ service in the Administrative Service implementing development programmes islandwide. To state briefly if I were to work in either the agricultural marketing sector, the agrarian extension sector or the small industries sector I will not be able to achieve any target purely because the subjects are devolved(not decentralized) and the implementation of any policy determined by the Minister working at the Centre, on policies laid down by the Houses of ParliamentƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  will depend on the whims and fancies of the Provincial Ministers.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The full effect of the 13 th Amendment even without devolving land and police powers has not yet been felt because the Provincial Ministers have not asserted their full rights.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ I am most thankful to Cecil Dharmasena of the Department of Agriculture, for his insightful article that appeared in The Island of 22/4/2013. Let me quote a few of his words, which fully support my above statement:

Referring to agricultural extension today he states:

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-The lack of an organized and coordinated extension and advisory system today as we had in the past(prior to the Provincial Administration System) where the Department of Agriculture through its comprehensive islandwide extension Division provided an efficient service appears to be the biggest drawback in agriculture at present.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The situation today he says is that ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-all types of agencies of the Provincial Councils and private sector offer confusing servicesƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ He details what happened to the Department of Agriculture after the implementation of the 13 th Amendment. The Department was broken up, the research division broken into independent institutes, the extension service given to the Provincial Councils and the seed farms sold to the private sector.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Harking back to my days ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” up to 1973, the Department of Agriculture had a full control over the technical side of Agriculture. At the divisional level there was an Agricultural Instructor, an officer who had two yearsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s study at the Agricultural School. Under him were severalƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Overseers- Krushi Vyapti Sevakas at the village level. They had an yearƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s training in agriculture. This was an effective service. In addition, after the Paddy Lands Act was enforced in came the Agrarian Services Department with cultivation committees at the grass roots level. This Department had Divisional Officers at the Divisional level and Overseers at the village level. The Overseers had an yearsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ training in agriculture. The Cultivation Committees took over grass roots level planning. Today the Paddy Lands Act is no more and the cultivation committees do not exist.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Another important change that took place is that theƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Overseers of the Agriculture Department- the Krushi Vyapti Sevakas were all promoted as Grama Sevakas( now Grama Niladharis) during the time of President Premadasa. No official trained in agriculture took their place.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  After a few yearsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ lapse when the Agricultural Instructor at the Divisional Level did not have a single Overseer Assistant, during the days of President Kumaranatunge , O Level qualified youths were appointed as Niyamakas.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ This was the extension system that was bequeathed to the Provincial Councils. Cecil Dharmasena has stated that the efficiency of the extension system depended entirely in the hands of the Provincial Minister of Agriculture.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ My own experience with the agricultural extension system under the Provincial Council administration is detailed in my book: ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-How the IMF Ruined Sri Lanka.& Alternate Programs of SuccessƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚.(Godages):

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-The entireƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  agriculture department has to get a bone shake which I hope can get done. In about 1997, running my small family farm I had the occasion to visit the extension centers at Kadawata and Delgoda. The officers there did not know the exact amount of fertilizer that I should use and when. At my insistence they raked their files and provided me with details. The circular advised the use ofƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  ammonium sulphate and ureaƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  at the basal stageƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  and no mention was made of the top dressing. ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚¦ About a year later I dropped into one of these Centers and to my amazementƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  I found that even thenƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  the top dressing had not been incorporated into the advice. . In our inefficiency we are wasting fertilizer.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚. This fully supports Cecil DharmasenaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s statement that the extension system is in shambles. My comments pertain to the late Nineties while Dharmasena speaks of the extension service of today.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Sri Lanka is a small country which is smaller than a State in India and there is no necessity to devolve any subject in administration. Under the 13 th Amendment we have devolved many subjects and accordingly the extension sections of the Department of Agriculture and the Department oif Agrarian Services has been handed over to the Provincial Councils.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ In my days in the Agrarian Services, I was once in charge of fertilizer distribution and we sent out the first circular on fertilizer use for the entire island and this was immediately enforced through the cultivation committees. Not so any more. The futility of devolution is easily realized when one realizes that the Kegalla and Ratnapura Districts which come under the Sabaragamuwa Province is only some 25 miles away from the City of Colombo. It is inimical for Provinces situated in close proximity to have an extension service that is not coordinated.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ It is also well known and not disputed by anyone that the 13 th Amendment was drafted by India and imposed on our country under duress by Rajiv Gandhi, the Prime Minister of India. Though President Jayawardena shivered in his boots and gave in and forced his Members of Parliament to vote for it and though the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka, also under duress (judges quarters were stoned),gave legitimacy to it, the 13 th Amendment remains a foreign appendage onto our Constitution.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Another factor that is of immediate concern is the impending Election of the Northern Provincial Council. As pointed out by me earlier the existing Provincial Councils have not asserted their powers and thus even without police and land powers the full effect of the 13 th Amendment has not been felt.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ I am certain that if any Provincial Council asserts itself, the working of all Government Departments will totally cease from the Centre and the implementation of the policies laid down by Acts of Parliament can no longer be a reality.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ This will be the situation once a TNA which is pro Tamil Nadu and also following the LTTE agenda of separation is elected.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  The Government will be faced with a crisis of severe dimension, a situation that will eventually lead to the formation of a separate State.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ All this is not surmise. As an experienced administrator with four decadesƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ experience, I can sense what will happen.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The abolition of the 13 th Amendment is the only option if we are to retain a sovereign island..

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The International Community, India and the LTTE Diaspora whom we are trying to please by retaining the 13 th Amendment and implementing it are having their act cut and dry. Their one aim is to enable a separate State in the North and the East of Sri Lanka and it is hoped that our leaders will realize this fact before it is too late.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ We will be done for if we cannot identify our enemies.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Garvin Karunaratne

Former Government Agent Matara District.

27 th April 2013

10 Responses to “Why the 13 th Amendment is inimical for our development and how it will create a separate State”

  1. mjaya Says:

    Dear Hon. President

    The electricity bill hike has made the current gov. very unpopular. Please punish those responsible for the CPC hedging deal at least now.

    It is time to realize that abolishing the 13th Amendment will be a pivotal factor in reelecting the gov. in the next election. Get rid of these useless money wasting Provincial Councils that also help secessionists. Do not waste taxpayer money on a referendum, instead make one good use of the 2/3rd majority (which may never materialize in the future, ever again) and abolish them. “Yuddeta nethi kaduwen kos kotannada?”

    Get rid of the preferential vote system.

    Its now or never!

  2. Lorenzo Says:

    Yes; it is now or never.

    3 years in power so far. Only 3 more to go. After 2016 NO ONE will be able to have 2/3. Who knows what will happen BEFORE that. So time is LIMITED. SCRAP 13 amendment NOW or we will have to live with the dirt forever.

    Wimal Weerawansa is launching an ANTI-13 AMENDMENT campaign from May 1st. WE ALL SHOULD support him. He has realized BBS’s horns are closing in on his backside. Now he has to run faster. Good.

    Govt. can REVERSE UNPOPULARITY OF ALL BAD THINGS it has done (electricity price increase, releasing Duminda Silva, etc., etc.) by SCRAPPING 13 amendment.

    From 2005 to 2009 the SAME govt. did SO MANY BAD THINGS. But it did ONE THING RIGHT – WIPED OUT the LTTE. That’s enough to win 6 elections so far! People voted with their feet.

    SCRAPPING 13 amendment is the TRUMP CARD to win ANY future election. Soon the govt. will have to play this trump card.

  3. mario_perera Says:

    “The electricity bill hike has made the current gov. very unpopular.”

    How can a country for whose leaders darkness is more luminous than light understand this problem? This country is wallowing in the dirtiest of dark gutters its leaders have created. For them light is an obscene word. Did you read about this scum of a Duminda Silva? He did not attend court pleading jeopardy to health. Then, released from hospital all smiles and born on the back of an adulating crowd, where does he first head for? To meet the President. The President dictates what the law is and for whom it is applicable. He decrees who must be convicted and who must be freed. He decrees that darkness is light. Ehema neda apey Hamudurowo????

    Mario Perera

  4. Ben Silva Says:

    To reduce the impact of high electricity prices, the government could give a subsidy to install solar power. This will create employment as well.
    BBS could work towards getting rid of the 13th A. The people need to express their opinion and be prepared to stand up and be counted instead oF giving up desires and seeking extinction.

  5. douglas Says:



  6. Senevirath Says:

    NOW MAHINDA has employed duminda as well as dayan rajitha G.L , DILAN MERVIN ETC FOR SOME PURPOSE
    It is little bit different. ”NAPURU DUDANGE SIYOLANGEHIMA VISAYA”’



    If mahinda is a real patriotic man he has to do it now. RIGHT NOW

  7. nilwala Says:

    Dr Garvin Karunaratne is quite right in his sense of what will happen after the NP elections. But is the President listening?
    Even loyal supporters think that MR is being cocooned into a dream world, and that despite Gota’s warnings about 13A, the Pres has shut his ears to the common sense in what is being argued about the 13A and the Northern Prov elections as the start of the slide down the slippery slope, with the strings being pulled by the externals.
    This time around, the Opposition has managed to get the support of many Middle Class citizens in addition to the Colombians. Even others among the economically less privileged have been netted in through being hit by the COL, and the looming electricity tariff increase. There is a general ganging up of forces and evidently CBK is waiting in the wings. A strategy at work evidently includes a massive walk across the aisle by those who walked to the govt side earlier. Politics!!

  8. jayasiri Says:

    Thank you Sir…..I too come from Hakmana & totally agree with you. With so much experience in public service of Sri Lanka, you are sure to know. In a more bad omen or our superstition.. 13 is an unlucky number.. Leaving that aside, neumerous lankans have spoken time & again to scrap this un-workable, costly ammendment which will bind Sri Lanka for more generatios to come.

    Our leaders run to India as they have answers, but look at the poverty, corruption, rapes & illegal activities in the so called largest democracy.

    Even our tamil brotheren are well cared for in lanka, BUT we cannot say the same thing in India or how India treats her minorities. The caste system still prevails there. WE need NOt look up to India for anything anymore. Try & isolate India, most countries have. Only Sri Lankan leaders run to India for a slightest thing, which can be solved if the Govt. consults the learned people who still in Sri Lanka.

    It is time to use 2/3 majority & get rid of this 13, 13A or ANY DERIVATION OF THIS AMMENDMENT. I am sure President will be elected without any hesitation by the people of lanka.

    Thanks very much for your article, and like minded people in lanka should get together now, and demand the abolition of this unpopular ammendment. ……Another expat expressing his two cents worth~ expat from Canada.

  9. Lorenzo Says:

    The way things are going govt. will have to SCRAP 13 amendment to stay alive.

    Anti-electricity price increase protests should turn into anti-13 amendment protests.
    Anti-thuggery protests should turn into anti-13 amendment protests.

    Dumbinda Silva was a PC member until he became a MP. This is the type of leaders PCs produce!! SCRAP 13 amendment now.

  10. mario_perera Says:


    I read the excellent commentary of LEELA on the topic of

    Posted on April 27th, 2013
    C. Wijeyawickrema

    Leela Says:
    April 28th, 2013 at 8:53 pm
    We all know that Provincial Councils are a trap by Indians to control us. I believe, MR knows it as much as anyone or better. Today, not just the politicians but their entire families live on tax payers money in the guise of serving people. MR also knows that if he is to stay in power, he has to keep his corrupt and greedy Ministers and MPs happy.
    Now, just look at who and who are in the PCs. Aren’t most members of PCs are kith and kin (children, siblings, wives and etc) of Ministers, MPs and big wigs of the SLFP? All of them not just live but thrive on PCs. Question is; what are these robber barons going to do if Provincial Councils are abolished? Whatever they said and done, as of now, I am sure they want to retain PCs for they cannot live without it.
    If MR abolish the Provincial Councils there is no incentive for them to hang on to MR. It is very likely they will join Chandrika, SF or Ranil. That’s why, Dr Gunadasa Amarsekara said we must remove ‘police and land’ powers before holding elections for the North. And Wimal Weerawansa is taking it forward with full vigour.

    mario_perera Says:
    April 29th, 2013 at 3:17 am
    Thank you Leela, your reasoning is spotless.
    You have laid bare the truth about 13A and PC’s and why MR is acting deaf to calls for their repeal.
    You have hit the nail squarely on the head with your declaration: If MR abolish the Provincial Councils there is no incentive for them (provincial counselors) to hang on to MR. It is very likely they will join Chandrika, SF or Ranil.
    The preponderant weight on the scale of a politician, especially a Head of State, is that which enables him to hold on to power. The 13A with its PC system will become MR’s biggest potential weight on his vote winning (OR VOTE RIGGING) scale when the next election comes around.
    I would suggest that the PC system with its massive corruption, gleefully tolerated and even fostered by MR, would pave the way for corrupt election practices which might be necessary to see MR through the next time.
    Mario Perera

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