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FeaturesNewsPresident will trust “Douglas” with land and police powers but not others – Douglas

President will trust “Douglas” with land and police powers but not others – Douglas

The EPDP leader and Traditional Industries Minister, Douglas Devananda says that President Mahinda Rajapaksa would have no hesitation in entrusting land and police powers to him,but will not risk giving it to others.

Asked in a brief interview with The Island, as to what his views were on the demand by Tamil political parties that the subjects of land and police be devolved in terms of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, Devanada who lives a charmed life, having escaped death many times, smiled and said “The President feels that if he gives powers to Douglas there won’t’ be any problems, but if someone else gets it, there could be complications.”

Questioned, if the EPDP wanted land and police powers for the North and East, he said it was “essential’ but right now there was extreme suspicion at the very mention of the two words.

“What I would suggest is that we forget about the subjects of land and police for the moment and deal with the other problems faced by the northern and eastern people, until greater trust is established between the Tamil and Sinhala communities,” the EPDP leader said adding that when the apprehensions and fears had gone the contentious issues could be discussed.

Taking a pot shot at his bete noire, the Tamil National Alliance, Devananda who at one stage was involved in the Tamil armed struggle said “those fellows have vested political interests and are creating unnecessary problems. They say one thing to the media and another to India.”

Asked to elaborate, he said that the TNA issued various statements critical of India, but its leaders play a different ball game when they visited New Delhi.

by Zacki Jabbar

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