Sri Lanka President hints a federal Constitution
Posted on January 11th, 2016

By Daya Gamage – Asian Tribune Political Note from U.S.

Washington, D.C. 11 January (

President of Sri Lanka Maitripala Sirisena addressing the parliamentary on January 9 session that moved a resolution to transform the legislature into a constitutional assembly to draft a new constitution declared that there was no foreign influence in formulating the new constitution.


President Sirisena with Secretary Kerry in Colombo

The president was allying a fear of foreign interference in the domestic affairs of the country at a time senior American officials have gone on record advocating serious devolution of administrative and economic power to the North-East Provinces through a federal constitution. The American officials for some time have recognized the two regions as the ‘Homeland of the Tamil People’ and that they have a legitimate right to govern their territory and responsible for their destiny.

The Asian Tribune carried a lengthy report titled ‘Secessionist Tamil Diaspora’s debt to America: Federalism for Sri Lanka’ recording the promotion of a federal structure and acknowledging the north-east region as the ‘Tamil Homeland’ by a scores of American officials including the incumbent American envoy in Colombo Mr. Atul Keshap. It is in this atmosphere that Sri Lanka’s president addressing his country’s legislature dismiss the notion that his government was not under the spell of foreign powers.

Despite his denial of being subject to foreign influence in constitution-making, the president’s own statement in Sri Lanka’s legislature on January 9 gives an indication that the constitution-making trajectory is toward federalism. He told that the majority ethnic Sinhalese which constitute 74% in Sri Lanka opposed a federal system that would ensure greater political power for ethnic minority Tamils who constitute 11% of the total Sri Lankan population.

Statistics show that only 8.6% of ethnic Tamils out of the total population of the country are domiciled in the north-east region of the country. 54% of the 11% ethnic Tamils are domiciled outside the north-east region among majority ethnic Sinhalese in southern districts.

It is interesting the president noted that a federal system “would ensure greater political power for minority Tamils”, a policy position senior American officials in the State Department have taken since the defeat of the Tamil Tigers in 2009.

He further said “We need a constitution that suits the needs of the 21st century and makes sure that all communities live in harmony,” Sirisena told legislators, adding that he was ready to shed executive powers in favor of a strengthened parliament.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe addressing the parliament proposing a constitutional assembly observed that objections by the majority ethnic Sinhala community to power sharing deals with the minority ethnic Tamils early on led to terrorism and war, he added.

“I believe now, through our past bitter experiences, we must prepare ourselves for future challenges,” he said. The Asian Tribune report mentioned earlier which can be read in this web portal carried policy statements of senior American officials advocating power sharing.

– Asian Tribune –




6 Responses to “Sri Lanka President hints a federal Constitution”

  1. Ratanapala Says:

    His Master’s Voice!

  2. Fran Diaz Says:

    There were adequate power sharing arrangements with the Tamil community of Sri Lanka.

    The hitch was that Tamil leaders always wanted more. Starting with Colonial times, Tamil folk got the lion’s share as they generally went along with all colonial wishes, particularly with the British.

    Next, the demand was for a separate Tamil state even in the 1930’s.
    Next, the language issues and even after Tamil was given National language status, the Vadukoddai Resolution was put forward to achieve Tamil Eelam through violence. The LTTE was trained in INDIA for that purpose when JR (UNP) came into power with ultra west leanings.

    After the war with the LTTE :
    Now it has come to Yahap govt hinting at a Fed State ??

  3. SA Kumar Says:

    the demand was for a separate Tamil state even in the 1930’s.-No Wrong, a Tamil Federal state like in Indian Kerala/ TN/Kanda ….

    ITAK is Federal party – Chenvanayahan & Amirthalingam even VP is for Federal settlement .
    Vaddukoddai resolution is after failure of C-B & C-D agreement.

    Who want separate if you one already have own federal state
    like I asked a TN Tamil why do not fight for separate TN from India . He said We already have Govt of TN (Union state) why we need separa

  4. Fran Diaz Says:


    Not correct.

    Tamils ALREADY have virtual Federal status with the 13-A , however illegal the 13-A is. The aim is for Tamil Eelam. That is why the Vadukoddai Resolution was brought forward as far back in 1976. The 1983 Riots were created for Tamils to go abroad as refugees to the WEST.

    The policy of Tamil leaders has been ‘little now, more later. There apears to be no morality & ethics in their thinking – they appear to be self centered ingrates.

  5. SA Kumar Says:

    Who want separate if you one already have own federal state
    Also We-Tamil lived with Chinhalavar for last 2,000 years or more . We all know why We called Sinhala Modaya
    Are Sinhalese are mad ? NO One of best civilised people in this work !!! I always beleive that’s why Lord Bhuddu visited to Mother Lanka 3 time.
    My own experience ,I left 1983 (age 20) than visit back 2010 to get some Govt documents for my personal matter
    All Sinhala officers helped me ( no one asked me any penny).

    other example recently VP&co Girls political head Thamil Chellvi passed way (cancer) she was treated at Govt Maharahama cancer hospital for a years . She said it very very sad I have fight against these humanitarian ( Manitha Apinamana )Sinhala people .

    one more thing give us Federal state we will hand back to 5 or 10 years time as you know We-Tamil Sakkiliyar do not know how to rule ourself – trust me … ( eg: MGR Malayale, Jeyalalitha – Kanada, Viyakanth- Telungu, even Kaignyar Karuranithy is Telungu, Viyko is Telungu only Seeman is Tamil who never able to get enough vote to become MP )

  6. SA Kumar Says:

    Tamils ALREADY have virtual Federal status with the 13-A -Correct only We need 6A & 13A to implement .
    than settle 100,000 Bhuddist Sinhala family in Vanni & bring Mahaweli Kanka to Iranamadu kulam .

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