COLOMBO: A key report to formulate Sri Lanka's new Constitution will be released this month, which could deliberate among other things on a political solution to the Tamil minority issue through devolution of power.
The main Tamil party, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) senior MA Sumanthiran while addressing a gathering in Jaffna yesterday said the political party leaders represented in Parliament have agreed to present the report this month.
"The decision was made at a meeting presided by Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena," Sumanthiran said.
The committee has deliberated on a political solution to the Tamil minority issue by way of devolution of power, abolishing of the executive presidency, and electoral reforms, he said. The Steering Committee will meet again on April 4 and 5 and the interim report will be submitted before the end of this month.
The Joint Opposition group, who are backers of the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, have quit the Steering Committee to protest against the government. They accuse the government and TNA of trying to carve out a federal system to the north and east betraying the majority Sinhala sentiments.
The Constitution-making is expected to generate a lot of political tensions in the months ahead, the analysts say. Lanka will witness a series of elections this year including the local elections which had been postponed for over two years and elections for three of the nine provincial councils.
There might be a national referendum on the new Lankan Constitution if the parties agreed on the final draft of it.
The Steering Committee, which was formed last year, consists of the Prime Minister (Chairman), Leader of the Opposition, Leader of the House, the Minister of Justice, and not more than 11 other Members of the Constitutional Assembly.