Rift within Left on APRC outcome
Top LSSP and constitutional expert resigns from Govt. post

by Lyn Ockersz

Indicative of a growing rift within the decision-making organs of the LSSP over the inability of the APRC to present to the Government, what is described as, a preliminary report of its deliberations, in addition to the proposals to implement in full the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, senior LSSPer and Constitutional Affairs specialist, Dr. Jayampathy Wickremaratne resigned from his position as Senior Advisor to the Ministry of Constitutional Affairs yesterday.

Informed sources said that Dr. Wickremaratne’s resignation comes amid growing disenchantment within influential sections of the LSSP over the non- submission to the Government of a preliminary report, setting out the progress made in APRC deliberations over the months on issues at the heart of the proposed power sharing exercise. While these sections do not object to the submission of the 13th amendment proposal, they point out that the initial understanding was that a "preliminary report" would also be handed over to the Government by the APRC chief. Since this has not been done, the difference of opinion within the LSSP is taking on the proportions of an internal party crisis, the sources said.

Rift with

A similar rift is brewing within the Communist party but it is not as pronounced as the problem within the LSSP, they explained.

Personnel from these parties holding positions in the Government are believed to be soft-pedalling the need to prevent the "preliminary report", fearing such a position would eventually lead to a "parting of ways" with the Government.

The sources said that Dr. Wickremaratne is the first Left-linked official within the Government to renounce his job over the preliminary report issue.

When contacted by The Island, Wickremaratne said: "For some time I had been contemplating moving out of the Ministry of Constitutional Affairs as I wish to devote more time to legal research and writing. But I stayed on as I was hopeful something tangible would come out of the APRC process. But such hopes are now receding and I thought I should move out."



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