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JVP vows to thwart full
implementation of 13 Amendment

The JVP yesterday criticized the government for its moves to implement the 13th Amendment to the Constitution fully and described it as a betrayal of the mandate given to it by the people in recent elections. The People had voted for the UPFA in 2004 and 2005 against the provisions of this amendment seeking the devolution of powers to the provincial level but now the Government plans to implement it, JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva, told a press conference, yesterday.

The most recent move in this direction was the appointment of a committee by the government to expedite the process of putting sections of the amendment into practice. He said "this committee comprises

Ministers Douglas Devananda, Rajitha Senaratne, Dilan Perera, Prof. Tissa Vitarana, DEW Gunasekera, Reginold Cooray, and Kumar Rupasinghe, all ardent advocates of the division of the country," he said.

Silva alleged that Minister Devananda was there because the latter had plans to become the next chief minister in the Northern Provincial Council and enjoy all powers including control over land and the police. Ministers Senaratne, Perera with NGO activist Kumar Rupasinghe were the ones who held marches and rallies against the security forces eliminating terrorism through military means. DEW, Prof Vitarana and Cooray were those who worked for the LTTE agenda while remaining within the government ranks, he alleged.

These key persons had met in Minister Devananda’s office to discuss future plans on Monday (09), he said. Full implementation of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution had been promised to the Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee by President Rajapaksa, who had confirmed this during an interview with Al-Jazeera television recently. The USA, EU and India are also putting pressure on the government to go for full implementation of the 13th amendment which would devolve powers to the provinces, he said.

The report of All Party Representatives Committee headed by Minister Prof. Vitarana was to be out very soon and this would recommend the implementation of the 13th Amendment, he said.

He said that Eastern Province Chief Minister S. Chandrakanthan too backs these moves. The leader of the National Freedom Front, Wimal Weerawansa who once opposed the implementation of this amendment, is silent today. "The Rajapaksa Government makes use of these so-called patriots to secure votes. After the victory, the government uses another team to discuss the devolution of power. The patriots’ story is given to the Sinhala press and the devolution related story is given to the English media so that both the Sinhala reading majority and the English reading community, including the diplomats are kept happy," Silva said.

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