NPP Position on 13A Shows Political Maturity (13A Neither a Vote Winner nor a Vote Loser)
Posted on February 9th, 2023

Dilrook Kannangara

JVP was the last of the Sinhala political parties to accept 13A and provincial councils in 1999. By then UNP, SLMP, SLMC, EPRLF, SLFP and PA had succumbed to the 13A honeypot. It was a wise decision of the JVP to at last embrace the inevitable. 13A has no benefits for the nation; it adds more expenses, corruption and waste to national coffers and facilitates separatism. However, in the absence of a truly patriotic political party in the country, paying lip service to national unity while enjoying the benefits of provincial councils is the norm. JVP acceded to this norm in 1999 and was instantly rewarded as with the case of the SLFP which was also rewarded in 1993 (UNP, SLMP, SLMC in 1988 and TNA in 2012). Another Roman in Rome!

Today’s norm is the full implementation of 13A which is already enacted. All political parties represented in parliament support 13A implementation (or as falsely termed full” implementation). A law cannot be part” implemented unless its implementation is not practical due to a temporary situation. All laws are mandated to be implemented in full. Constitution is the supreme law of the land and non-compliance is a criminal offence. The oath to uphold the Constitution taken by all 226 includes upholding everything in the Constitution which includes 13A – the only amendment to the Constitution which remained untouched for the longest period of time. Shows that it is more permanent than other parts of the Constitution.

NPP/JVP was seen as less politically matured than other established parties that produced prime ministers and presidents. Recognizing its growing support, NPP/JVP is now par with the rest on 13A. By supporting 13A, JVP is pitching at the few liberal-minded people in the SLPP/SLFP camp and also at the 5% Tamil and Muslim voters of the SLPP. When they too leave the SLPP/SLFP it will be a party of the moribund.

13A is neither a vote winner nor a vote loser. It is a non-issue at elections. Voters have already made up their mind based on other issues and are not going to change just because of the reemerged 13A discussion. It’s irrelevant to the election. Accepting it also shows political maturity.

None of this should be construed as beneficial to the nation. On the contrary, 13A is destructive economically and politically. However, 13A is also an old gramophone disk played during election time which can be played both sides as all political parties do. Voters’ ears are immune to it as the executive president is immune to the crime of non-compliance with the Constitution.

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