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SLMC wants full powers for PCS

Amid India calling for power devolution based on the 13th Amendment, the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), a government ally, had at its meeting with the visiting Indian delegation last week stressed the need to abolish the Concurrent List of the 13th Amendment and the embedded powers fully devolved to the provinces.
The SLMC said it stood for a separate provincial administration for Muslims in the East similar to what’s in India’s Pondicherry, which was an administrative union consisting of four geographically unconnected districts.

The 13th Amendment was enacted in the Constitution in 1987 providing for the establishment of provincial councils with Powers devolved under three separate lists. The powers shared by the Centre and the provinces include education, health, agriculture and agrarian services, social services and rehabilitation, national housing and construction, registration of births, marriages and deaths, irrigation, the acquisition and requisition of property.

SLMC General Secretary M.T. Hasan Ali who participated in the talks with the visiting delegation led by Indian opposition leader Sushma Swaraj said his party wanted such powers to be fully devolved to the provinces. “We want the 13th Amendment plus to be implemented meaningfully. We discussed this matter with the Indian delegation. For example, we need school education to be made a subject totally left to the provincial administration. We do not mind higher education matters being handled by the Centre,” he said.

“We also want a separate province called the South–east Province with an area carved out of a district comprising Samanthurai, Pottuvil and Kalmunai electorates.

The other Muslim areas in Batticaloa and Trincomalee of the eastern province should be amalgamated with this district for administrative purposes.
Source: Daily Mirror/

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