“We initiated the dialog with the government on the proposed solutions to the ethnic question and we insisted that the government devolves land, police and finance powers to the periphery and that was the basis that the talks commenced and we insist that these powers be given if we are to sit on the proposed Parliamentary Select Committee to solve the ethnic question,” TNA spokesman and Jaffna District MP Suresh Premachandran told The Island last night.
He also said that in addition to the land, police and finance powers, one of the areas that the TNA was insisting on was the structure of governance for the north and the east.
The TNA spokesman was asked by The Island to respond to government spokesman and Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella announcing at last Thursday’s Cabinet news conference that the government was not willing to devolve police powers.
Stressing on the need for devolving police powers, Premachandran said that an independent police was mandatory and an effective prerequisite for maintaining law and order, which goes parallel with the courts system and it is also important to have finance systems also devolved in order to ensure the smooth running of the Northern and Eastern Provincial Councils.
He also said that in large countries such as India and Canada, where the police powers were devolved and that was the basis that we were insisting on, he said.
by Ravi Ladduwahetty