By Niranjala Ariyawansha
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) on Sunday stressed that Provincial Councils (PCs) should be given fiscal powers through the new Constitution.
At the same time, the TNA has said that devolution of power to Provincial Councils must be done in a manner where the Northern and Eastern Provincial Councils could be integrated in a way so that the authority devolved to PCs cannot be taken over by the Government.
This was stated by TNA Jaffna District Member of Parliament and President’s Counsel M. A. Sumanthiran, in response to an inquiry made by Ceylon Today.
He said these demands will have to be endorsed in the proposed new Constitution or else the TNA will not support it in Parliament.
“We cannot concede further in this regard. We have gone down to the maximum possible. Therefore, there is nothing to say and these three demands must be included in the Constitution and the problem solved in a manner that is favourable to us,” he said.
At the same time, through the interim report, that the Government has publicized, there is an opportunity where justice will be meted out to all ethnic groups, he added.
Sumanthiran also declared that he has no problem about identifying Sri Lanka as a ‘unitary state’ in the interim report and that this problem has already been solved.
“Extremists in the South say that this interim report has been prepared in a manner that will favour the Tamils.
Extremists in the North are claiming that this report has been prepared in a manner required by Sinhala Buddhists. Both these accusations make it apparent that this report has created an opportunity on behalf of achieving justice for all ethnicities in the country,” he concluded.
He said that anyhow, this interim report is not the final Constitution and that there are several other points to be included in the final version.