India calls for maximum devolution in Sri Lanka
….. meeting aspirations of all Lankans
by Zacki Jabbar
With the Sirisena -Wickremesinghe governments proposals on a new Constitution scheduled to be presented to Parliament prior to the budget, India has called for maximum devolution that meets the aspirations of all Lankans.
Diplomatic sources said that New Delhi had urged the government to look at an inclusive solution to the ethnic issue, by devolving power to the “maximum”, while emphasizing that it was not being “prescriptive”.
India had said that it was for all Lankans to decide on what form of governance was best suited them, but glossing over the last three decades as merely unfortunate would be counter productive since there was a history behind the separatist war.
The 13th Amendment to the Constitution, it had observed, could be the foundation to effect extensive devolution within a Unitary State, which it believed would strengthen rather than weaken the country.
New Delhi had cited its own experiences and the success of many other nations in this regard, while noting that a peaceful, stable and prosperous Sri Lanka would be in the interest of the Indian Ocean region, the sources said.
The Northern and Eastern provinces which were temporarily merged under the Indo- Lanka Accord of 1987, leading to the enactment of the 13th Amendment, have since been de-merged on a ruling of the Supreme Court.