13th Amendment will stay: Envoy

Published: 01st June 2013 08:10 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st June 2013 08:10 AM   |  A+A-

Sri Lanka will hold elections to the Northern Province in September, but any elected government will not have control over the police in line with other provinces, Sri Lankan High Commissioner Prasad Kariyavasam said.

“We will hold elections of Northern Provincial Council in September,” Kariyavasam asserted in an interaction at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club in South Asia on Friday evening.

On the remarks about a certain ally and a member of the ruling alliance talking about abolishing the 13th amendment, he noted that there were different shades of opinion. “But, the 13th amendment is here to stay,” he said.

However, he pointed out that when Sri Lankan leaders had talked about ‘13 plus’, it had always meant minus police powers.

“There is no consensus in the country that Provincial Councils should be given police powers, as they feel that having it with the centre is more stabilising,” said Kariyavasam.

The ‘13 plus’ for Sri Lanka meant having a second chamber at the Provincial Councils.

“But, our interlocutors (in the Tamil parties) were not interested in the second chamber,” he admitted.

Speaking about recent attacks on Sri Lankans in Tamil Nadu, he termed them as “aberrations” and blamed it on propaganda by Tamil Diaspora groups.

“I appeal to Tamil Nadu brothers and sisters not to do anything which is counter-productive... Raising Ealam is counter-productive,” he said.

When asked about his reaction to recent moves to approach the court to reopen the Katchchatheevu island case, Kariyavasam said that for Sri Lanka, the matter is “settled”.

“It’s unfortunate that some Tamil Nadu elements are still focusing on this issue,” he said.

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