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* Sri Lanka again rejects devolving police powers to provincial councils
Wed, Jun 4, 2014, 07:31 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

June 04, Colombo: Sri Lanka reiterating its stance on devolving police powers to provincial councils Wednesday said it is not the policy of the government to provide police powers to any provincial council in the country.

External Affairs Minister Professor G.L. Peiris speaking in parliament today said the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has clearly pointed out to India during his discussions with the Indian government that adverse effects will result in the country by devolving such powers.

"We made it crystal clear that devolution of police power is not acceptable," Prof. Peiris told parliament.

Responding to a question raised by the Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe in parliament today on the issues Sri Lankan President discussed with the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during their recent meeting in New Delhi, the Minister said the constitutional matters have not been discussed in depth with India and only issues that are of mutual interest have been discussed at length.

During the meeting between the two leaders held on 27 May, the Indian Prime Minister stressed on the early and full implementation of the 13th Amendment and going beyond to expedite the process of national reconciliation in a manner that meets the aspirations of the Tamil community for a life of equality, justice, peace and dignity in a united Sri Lanka.

The government has consistently said that it would resort to a power devolution process or introduce constitutional changes only through a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) with an extensive political interaction with all political parties and other stakeholders to discuss all the issues related to power devolution, police and land powers to PCs and security issues of the provinces.

The Sri Lankan parliament in November 2011 approved the setting up of a parliamentary select committee to formulate a political solution to the country's ethnic issue that is acceptable to all the communities in Sri Lanka.

However, the opposition parties, including the TNA and main opposition United National Party (UNP) have not made their representations in the committee.

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