Chief ministers express mixed sentiments on “13 plus”Article No 21481
Posted on January 23, 2012 by Writer
In the wake of President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s assurance to India that powers would be devolved beyond the 13th Amendment, various chief ministers expressed mixed sentiments on the matter.
Shan Wijeyalal Silva, the chief minister of the Southern Provincial Council, said yesterday that powers should not be devolved to appease a single community. He said that it should be done to meet the aspirations of all communities. He said that the chief ministers could provide an effective service to the people with the existing powers. Besides, said Mr. Wijelal, the provincial councils were able to provide an effective service even without land and police powers. He said that all that was needed were sufficient funds for the provincial councils. However, he said he was prepared to work in accordance with the policies of the UPFA and its leader, President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Bertie Premalal Dissanayake, the chief minister of the North Central Province, also expressed similar sentiments and said the provincial councils enjoyed a fair amount of power already. He said his provincial council had access to land within his province. He therefore said there was no need for more powers. Mahipala Herath, chief minister of the Sabaragamuwa Province, said he had to study the agreement which Sri Lanka had reached with India before making any comments.
He said he did not know the details of the discussions between President Rajapaksa and India’s External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna during the latter’s recent visit to Sri Lanka.
MONDAY, 23 JANUARY