NorthEast merger "illegal," rules SL Supreme Court

[TamilNet, Monday, 16 October 2006, 07:04 GMT]
Sri Lankan Supreme Court Chief Justice Sarath N Silva Monday ruled that the merged Northeastern province was unconstitutional, invalid and "illegal." The de-merger campaign, launched by the Sinhala natioanlist JVP and the extremist all monks party, received a legal recognition by the five-bench Sri Lankan Supreme Court ruling. The northern and eastern provinces were merged according to the Indo-Sri Lanka agreement signed in 1987 by the then Sri Lankan President, J.R.Jayawardene, and the then Indian Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi.

The temporary merger of the two provinces, with a condition that a referendum should be held to merge the provinces permanently, still continues and a Governor who has been appointed by the President is now administering the North East Provincial Council established under the 13th Constitutional Amendment.

The ruling by the Sri Lankan SC also scuttled the Post-Tsunami Joint mechanism, P-TOMS, between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and the Government of Sri Lanka.

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