The UNP yesterday challenged the government to use its two thirds majority in parliament and amend or abolish the 13th Amendment without threatening to do it while allowing the tense situation to develop into a catastrophe.
Senior UNPer Ravi Karunanayake said that if the Rajapaksa regime was convinced that the 13th Amendment was redundant in the post war era, the required two thirds majority was available, even though obtained against the peoples will and in the most unethical manner, to rectify what it has termed as an historical injustice.
“If, the government is really committed as it says to diluting or scrapping devolution, do it now without looking for scapegoats and adopting time wasting exercises such as Parliamentary Select Committees. The ethnic conflict has been discussed for decades and all the issues and solutions have been identified,’’ he said.
“The only thing left to do is implementation which is not forthcoming obviously due to the lack of guts in matching words with action.’’
Karunanayake said that President Mahinda Rajapaksa, by allowing the extremist forces within his ranks to run wild, had allowed a dangerous situation to develop which could lead to a tragic loss of life and property.Having pledged 13-A Plus to India, Rajapaksa had taken Sri Lankans for a ride, by saying that the Provincial Councils would be stripped of most of their key features including the right to merge with other PCs and land and police powers, he noted.
“All we are saying is go ahead and do what you believe in, without continuing the circus until the Northern Provincial Council Election is over”, Karunanayake said. He warned that such a course of action could lead to disastrous consequences.
He noted that while contradictory statements emanated from senior ministers on a daily basis, the minority and left parties in the ruling UPFA were up in arms over the proposed amendments which had shaken the very foundation of the ruling alliance.
As for the UNP, the MP said that a new constitutional formulation pledging meaningful devolution had been unveiled. This means they opposed the dilution of the 13th Amendment.
by Zacki Jabbar