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* Sri Lanka may amend the 13th Amendment to the Constitution before election in North
Sun, Nov 18, 2012, 11:33 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Nov 18, Colombo: The Sri Lankan government is considering to amend the much-concerned13th Amendment to the Constitution before September 2013, a local Sinhala weekly said Sunday.

The government has reportedly decided to change the 13th Amendment before the Northern Provincial Council election which is planned to be held in September 2013.

The government is keen on strengthening the center and the proposed Divineguma poverty alleviation bill became a reason for a conflict of interests between the powers of the central government and the Provincial Governments.

Wimal Weerawansa, the Minister of Construction, Engineering Services and Common Amenities and the leader of the government ally, National Freedom Front (NFF) recently planned to file a fundamental rights petition in court against the 13th Amendment but it was delayed due to the Minister's inclusion in the parliamentary select committee probing the impeachment motion against the Chief Justice.

The 13th Amendment introduced under Indian influence in 1988 paved way for power devolution to the Provinces despite displeasure of the majority Sinhala community.

Meanwhile, the main opposition United National Party (UNP) is currently in the process of obtaining proposals to construct a draft constitution, party sources say.

The opposition's draft constitutional proposal will include a parliamentary system headed by an executive premier, Independent Judiciary, public service, electoral system & an Independent Police Department, local radio Hiru-FM reported citing party sources.

Reportedly the new system is based on the 17th Amendment to the Constitution. The UNP id planning to appoint a special committee to prepare the draft system after the party's scheduled convention on December 1st.

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