SLFP proposals, an outrageous offer, says Edirisinha

[TamilNet, Saturday, 05 May 2007, 12:02 GMT]
Deriding the claim that the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) proposals pave the way for a "lasting and honourable solution to the ethnic issue," Dr.Rohan Edirisinha, head of the Legal and Constitutional Unit of the Colombo-based think-tank Center for Policy Alternatives (CPA), says in an opinion column in Saturday issue of daily mirror that the proposals go back to the failed district council proposals of the 1980s and "are potentially dangerous for democracy, good governance and the existence of independent institutions," and "demonstrates that those responsible for the proposals are completely out of touch with the realities of constitutional reform for conflict resolution."

PDF IconSLFP's breathtaking proposals
on Constitutional reform (62kb)
Edirisinha says "since a joined north and east is so vital to Tamil aspirations, Tamil political leaders have favoured a larger unit of devolution," and traces the trend towards considerations of larger units of devolution of provinces in 1980s to regions in 1990s by different Sri Lanka Governments.

Dr Rohan Edirisinghe
Dr. Rohan Edirisinghe
In constrast, "the SLFP led by President Mahinda Rajapaksa has in its proposals of 2007, proposed devolution to the districts and the conversion of the present 25 districts into 30 smaller districts! It has, therefore gone backwards, undermined a twenty five year trend and raised serious questions about its capacity and understanding of the nature of the ethnic conflict, its history and evolution, and therefore, the SLFP’s competence to lead the country to a negotiated settlement," the constitutional expert says in his column, further emphasizng his statement to Reuters: "This is going to be a total disaster. Psychologically this is going to be a huge blow to the peace process, because it would suggest that the SLFP is going back to the early 1980s if not 1970s."

PDF IconSLFP proposals (69kb)
Edirisinghe points out that proposals are "retrogressive in number of other aspects," and questions the vague, ambiguous statement that “the supremacy of Parliament and the Executive powers (sic) should be safeguarded.”

The introduction of the fourth tier of governance, the Grama Sabhas, an even lower form of administrative instrument compared to India's Panchayati Raj, will "further confuse the issue of the distribution of powers," Edirisinha says.

"The proposals on language are a step backwards... The proposals are also silent on the issue of an official language/official languages, raising concerns about the parity of status of Sinhala and Tamil," Edirisinha points out.

The proposed bicamarel system, "demonstrates an appalling lack of appreciation of the rationale for a second chamber in constitutions which provide for devolution of power...The SLFP proposals... are extremely old-fashioned in that the second chamber has limited powers and has a large number of nominated members... and will not facilitate power sharing at the centre as claimed by the proposals," Edirisinha says.

Dr. Edirisinha concludes: "But what is more distressing is that the Tamil separatists must be chuckling with glee. The proposals will provide them with the ammunition they need to demonstrate to the Tamil people and the international community, that the main political party in the government of Sri Lanka lacks the understanding, capacity, empathy and commitment to accommodate reasonable Tamil aspirations and work towards a negotiated political settlement with justice for all communities within a united Sri Lanka."


Related Articles:
31.10.06   Indian model ill-suited to address Tamil demands- Gajendraku..
19.07.06   APC, a political drama to dress-up unitary constitution - LT..
16.07.06   Rajapakse's new agenda, a tactic to derail progress towards ..
11.07.06   SL President Rajapakse addresses APC, Expert panel
10.07.06   "United Sri Lanka," cannot be accepted as a pre-negotiation ..


External Links:
SanDiego: S.Lanka rebels dismiss president devolution proposals
CPA: Center for Policy Alternatives
ML: The President and the plot for peace and governance Dr Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu
Reuters: Sri Lanka president devolution proposals seen doomed

 

Latest 15 Reports
16.11.20 18:45  
China launches world’s biggest regional trade agreement without Indian participation
31.10.20 10:58  
Tamils risk Kashmir-like status revocation if Gota continues Trinco military cooperation with US
06.10.20 11:40  
Poet Pulamaipithan who championed Tamil Eelam solidarity in Tamil Nadu turns 85
28.09.20 23:19   Photo
Muslims join Tamils opposing Colombo's suppression of Thileepan Remembrance in North
27.09.20 12:05   Photo
Tamils unify to mark Thileepan Remembrance, brave Colombo's suppression of memorialisation
26.09.20 09:10   Photo
Commemorating sacrifices of Tamil struggle is an inalienable right, not a subject for ‘SL permission’
25.09.20 22:08   Photo
South Asia mourns SPB's demise
15.09.20 06:37   Photo
UN Rights Chief joins her predecessors in watering down collective rights of genocide affected people
04.09.20 22:13   Photo
Diaspora youth group re-aligns Tamil narrative on enforced disappearances
03.09.20 15:41   Photo
Jude Lal Fernando’s Sputnik interview exposes unfolding British duplicity on KMS ‘investigations’
02.09.20 22:03   Photo
Gotabaya's ‘Task Force’ monk threatens Tamils to stay away from their paddy fields in Thiriyaay
01.09.20 23:36  
Colombo extends genocidal land grab targeting farmlands of Tamils along NE border: Ravikaran
31.08.20 16:36   Photo
Families of war-disappeared send strong message braving SL restrictions on International Day
08.08.20 01:05   Photo
Sumanthiran alleged of exerting Colombo’s influence to tamper with preferential vote counts
07.08.20 10:08  
2020 election resembles 1970 polls that formed genocidal Sri Lanka
 
Find this article at:
http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=22071