Nov 07, Colombo: Two coalition partners of Sri Lanka ruling alliance have made a joint call for the abolition of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.
Sri Lanka Buddhist party Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) and the National Freedom Front (NFF) led by Construction, Engineering, Housing and Common Amenities Minister Wimal Weerawansa have called for the withdrawal of the 13th Amendment, local media reported.
At a joint media briefing held in Colombo this morning, Power and Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka of the JHU has said that the country has to face a series of complicated issues due to the provincial council system that was established under the 13th Amendment to the Constitution and called for the immediate withdrawal of the amendment.
Minister Ranawaka has noted that in future more problems may be encountered if the Northern Provincial Council decides not to support the government when a bill comes up for approval.
Minister Weerawansa has called on the government to use its two-thirds majority in the parliament to repeal the 13th Amendment.
The Minister has earlier likened the 13th Amendment to the Constitution to a time bomb waiting to explode.
According to Weerawansa, the government needs to take firm steps to repeal the 13th Amendment.
The two parties have separately called on the government to take steps to abrogate the amendment. However, this is the first time the two parties held a joint media conference.
The campaign in Sri Lanka to repeal the provincial council system brought into existence by the 13th Amendment is growing momentum as the major Tamil party, Tamil National Alliance, is refusing to participate in the Parliamentary Select Committee proposed by the government to devolve power.
Sri Lanka's Defence Secretary had publicly called for abolishing the Amendment after the major Tamil Party Tamil National Alliance claimed that India is keeping a close watch on the controversial Divi Neguma Bill since the government through the bill was attempting to take over powers devolved to the provincial councils under the 13th Amendment.