'13th Amendment powerless, youth may go for war again' - Eastern minister Hisbullah

[TamilNet, Monday, 10 November 2008, 15:55 GMT]
Powers devolved under the 13th amendment to provincial council are being taken away by the central government by issuing gazette notifications and circulars. The provincial council has no power to transfer even a police constable, lamented Mr.M.L.A.M.Hisbullah, a Minister in the Eastern Provincial Council in an exclusive interview to the weekly edition of the leading Tamil daily Virakesari published from Colombo.

Mr.M.S.M.Hisbullah resigns from Government post
MLAM Hisbullah
Mr.Hisbullah further said according to 13th amendment powers have been devolved to the provincial council on various subjects, Irrigation, Agriculture, and Land and so on. The power to appoint a Deputy Inspector General of Police is also devolved to the PC but only in writing and not in force. Powers devolved to the PC have been withdrawn step by step by the central government.

Mr.Hisbullah added that youths could be forced again to take up arms if the Eastern Provincial Council loses its authority on all subjects that are allocated to it under the 13th Amendment.

"Sinhalese are in majority in other provincial councils in the south. There Sinhalese are ruling them. The central government is also in the hands of Sinhalese community. Hence there is no problem who is ruling whom. But the situation in the North and East is different. Powers should be given to Tamil speaking people in the North and East, especially to Tamil people. In failing to do so more problems would crop up. Full powers should be devolved to eastern province. Only this would bring peace. The Chief Minister and I had talks with President Mahinda Rajapakse and his senior advisor Basil Rajapakse on the devolution of powers to east provincial council. But I feel that it a difficult task to get powers to EPC. However we have been taking all efforts in this regard, said Mr.Hisbullah

Mr.Hisbullah, once a lieutenant of the late Muslim leader Mr.A.H.M.Ashraff, founder of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), later crossed over to the government side and held cabinet rank ministerial portfolio. He was elected to the newly formed East Provincial Council (EPC) in the ticket of ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance on the promise that he would be the Chief Minister of the EPC. But in a political twist he was not given the CM post. Now he holds the second rank in the provincial cabinet led by Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan.

Powers devolved under the 13th amendment to provincial council are being taken away by the central government by issuing gazette notifications and circulars. The provincial council has no power to transfer even a police constable, lamented Mr.M.L.A.M.Hisbullah, a Minister in the Eastern Provincial Council in an exclusive interview with leading Sunday Tamil weekly Virakesari published from Colombo.

Mr.Hisbullah further said according to 13th amendment powers have been devolved to the provincial council on various subjects, Irrigation, Agriculture, and Land and so on. The power to appoint a Deputy Inspector General of Police is also devolved to the PC but only in writing and not in force. Powers devolved to the PC have been withdrawn step by step by the central government.

Mr.Hisbullah added that youths could be forced again to take up arms if the Eastern Provincial Council loses its authority on all subjects that are allocated to it under the 13th Amendment.

"Sinhalese are in majority in other provincial councils in the south. There Sinhalese are ruling them. The central government is also in the hands of Sinhalese community. Hence there is no problem who is ruling whom. But the situation in the North and East is different. Powers should be given to Tamil speaking people in the North and East, especially to Tamil people. In failing to do so more problems would crop up. Full powers should be devolved to eastern province. Only this would bring peace. The Chief Minister and I had talks with President Mahinda Rajapakse and his senior advisor Basil Rajapakse on the devolution of powers to east provincial council. But I feel that it a difficult task to get powers to EPC. However we have been taking all efforts in this regard, said Mr.Hisbullah

Mr.Hisbullah was once a right hand of late Muslim leader Mr.A.H.M.Ashraff, founder of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) and later crossed over to the government side and held cabinet rank ministerial portfolio. He was elected to the newly formed East Provincial Council (EPC) in the ticket of ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance on the promise that he would be the Chief Minister of the EPC. But in a political twist he was not given the CM post. Now he holds the second rank in the provincial cabinet led by Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan who heads an armed faction of the TMVP paramilitary operated by the Sri Lanka Army.


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