VIDEO: Govt attempting ‘political gamble’ with 13A – Tissa

VIDEO: Govt attempting ‘political gamble’ with 13A – Tissa

June 25, 2013   03:16 pm

The United National Party today said that internal split within the ruling coalition over the 13th Amendment to the Constitution is in fact a “political gamble” by the government targeting votes in the Northern Province.

Asked about the UNP’s stance on the proposed changes to the 13th Amendment, UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake stated that currently no such proposal has been submitted to the Parliament.

“The government should first officially submit changes to the 13th Amendment or any other proposals to the Parliament,” he said.

He stated that the United National Party’s stand on the matter is very clear. “We want the 13th Amendment to the Constitution implemented as it is.”

Attanayake stated that the constitutional amendment was brought forth for devolution of power and that it’s an agreement reached between Sri Lanka and India.

“Even though it was signed by the UNP and Rajiv Gandhi, it’s an international agreement reached between two nations,” he said, referring to the 1987 Rajiv Gandhi-JR Jayawardane accord.

Therefore, if anyone says it is only an agreement between JR Jayawardena’s United National Party and Rajiv Gandhi’s party, they are wrong, he said, reiterating that it’s an agreement between the governments of Sri Lanka and India.

As per that agreement, provincial councils have been established through the 13th Amendment, the UNP MP said.

“This 13th Amendment to the Constitution is in no way a proposal that is aimed at splitting the nation. It is a part of the constitution approved by the Supreme Court,” Attanayake said.

He further pointed out that there is no need to ask the UNP whether or not to implement part of the constitution, as the government is committed to implement it.     

On the split which has erupted within the government over the 13th Amendment, with constituents of the coalition such as the JHU and NFF demanding that the Northern Council be stripped of police and land powers, Tissa claimed that it is a “political gamble” being attempted by the UPFA.

He accused the government of developing suspicion and distrust on one side while attempting to commence a political gamble for the votes in the North on the other side.  

“We have come to learn that the government has fallen three steps back due to this internal split which has been created,” he said. 

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