India Can’t Dictate on Power Devolution: SL Ruling Party - The New Indian Express

India Can’t Dictate on Power Devolution: SL Ruling Party

Published: 31st May 2014 10:32 AM

Last Updated: 31st May 2014 10:32 AM

COLOMBO: In a riposte to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demand that Sri Lanka should fully implement the devolution package contained in the 13 constitutional amendment and even go beyond it, Lanka’s ruling party said that India has no right to dictate to the island nation what kind of devolution system it must have. 

“Neither India nor any other country has the right to tell Sri Lanka what kind of devolution system it must have. It is for Parliament of Sri Lanka to decide and the appropriate forum to debate the issue is the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC),” said Nimal Sripala de Silva, senior leader of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and cabinet minister, addressing the media on Thursday.

De Silva went on to say that just as Lanka does not advice India on what powers it should devolve to its states, India should not advice Lanka what powers it should give its provinces.

The Minister questioned the legitimacy of the 13 Amendment saying that it was “imposed” by India (in 1987 as part of the India-Sri Lanka Accord). The SLFP, then in opposition, had agitated against the Accord in July 1987.

Lankan political watchers are waiting to see what steps Indian Prime Minister Modi will take to push for the full implementation of the 13th Amendment. The majority Sinhalese community fears that Modi will be tough given his promise to to give India a strong government which its neighbours will have to respect. Anxiety about an intrusive Indian role is stoked by the efforts recently taken by the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) to secure the support of Prime Minister Modi and Chief Minister Jayalalithaa.

TNA leader R Sampanthan wrote to Modi and Jayalalithaa seeking to discuss the Lankan Tamil question.

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