UNP unveils constitutional reform proposals

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 17 February 1998, 23:59 GMT]
The opposition United National Party (UNP), will kick off its campaign to muster support its package for constitutional reform with a public meeting in Galle on February 20, said UNP sources today. Journalists have been invited to cover this event.

The UNP's set of proposals, of which only a part has been made public as yet, is devised to counter the package for constitutional reform of the Peoples' Alliance Government.

The UNP proposals demand power sharing between the principal ethnic minorities and other groups in the Central Government.

The PA package on the other hand, is for the devolution of power at the periphery, through regional councils. The UNP proposals envisage the creation two vice presidents 'one Tamil and the other a Muslim' which will allow the minorities a greater say in the exercise of executive power.

Similarly, the second chamber that is proposed will not only serve as a brake on legislation, according to the UNP, but also help to ensure balance when legislation involving ethnic sensitivities is scrutinised.

Finally, the UNP proposals include the executive committee system which was in operation in Sri Lanka during the 1930s and early 1940s, as an alternative to party based democracy. The executive committees are seen as a system of governance whereby confrontational politics of the party system minimised.

The second part of the UNP proposals, now rescheduled to be released in March, is supposed to give details of a scheme for devolving power to the periphery.

Some Tamil and Muslim political parties have written to the UNP expressing their regret that the proposals look at power sharing at the centre as an alternative to devolution.

In a joint statement the Ceylon Workers' Congress (CWC), Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF), Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) and the Democratic Peoples' Liberation Front (DPLF) have asked the UNP to send comprehensive proposals for devolution in the other set of proposals due in March.

The leader of the CWC Government Minister S. Thondaman has referred to the UNP proposals in scathing terms. The important matter however is the timing of the proposals to be released by the UNP.

It is felt that the release of the proposals in March will not give the required time for the PA to begin campaigning for the non-binding referendum on the package which it was hoping to commence before June. June is the deadline for the Provincial Council elections.

The UNP is confident of faring better at the provincial elections than at the referendum. However, sources feel that the PC elections will be decisive for the UNP too.

The performance could decide the future of the present UNP leadership they said.

Related Articles:
28.01.98   UNP opposes devolution package
09.01.98   Opposition rejects government's ultimatum


Latest 15 Reports
24.09.16 16:10   Photo
15,000 Tamils attend historic uprising in Jaffna, reject Unitary Constitution, ITAK draws flak
23.09.16 23:35  
Tamil POWs denounce Colombo's latest announcement, continue fast
22.09.16 22:26  
Mobilisation towards ‘Ezhuka Thamizh’ uprising in Jaffna gains momentum
21.09.16 18:56  
Sinhala colonists step up assaults on Tamil cattle herders in Batticaloa
20.09.16 22:55  
‘Reconciliation prospects’ look as grim as ever: Rev Fr Mangalarajah
19.09.16 23:02  
Tamil POWs relaunch hunger-strike, urge cases to be heard at Jaffna, Vavuniyaa
18.09.16 19:42  
Colombo deploys discrimination in housing assistance to Peasaalai war-affected families
17.09.16 22:18  
SL Intelligence sabotages NPC-organised medical inspections on ex-LTTE members
16.09.16 23:16   Photo
Catholic Peace Mission in Jaffna challenges Colombo’s propaganda on ‘reconciliation’
15.09.16 22:06   Photo
Maharaja TV promotes genocidal military culture through ‘welfare’ projects in North-East
14.09.16 23:42   Photo
Sinhala colonists advance 3 km further into Batticaloa, erect 2nd Buddhist temple in 1 year
13.09.16 17:19  
Sirisena's Forest Department escalates appropriations of lands from Tamils in Vanni
12.09.16 07:12  
Colombo's desecration of Tamil Heroes Cemetery comes to light as SLA vacates Kanakapuram
11.09.16 23:46  
Lawyers demand UN action into allegations of Colombo deploying chemical substances on POWs
10.09.16 09:20  
Colombo’s Fishing Ministry accelerates structural genocide with EU ‘certificate’
Find this article at: