Angry MR refuses to bow down to JHU
*Hints Champika’s may quit, if he so wishes

An angry President yesterday warned Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka not to hinder his efforts to implement 13th Amendment to the Constitution and guarantee devolution of power to the provinces. Now that a 30-year war had been brought to an end, the aspirations of the people of the North and East should be met, he told a group of government ministers at Temple Trees yesterday, according to highly placed sources.

Referring to Ranawaka’s threat to quit his government over the proposed full implementation of the 13th Amendment, the President said that he would do his job. "I’ll look after the rest, too," he said, urging leaders of constituent parties to have faith in him. He said that if they did their job, the government could go ahead with its programme.

Political sources said that the President had reacted angrily to Ranawaka’s threat to quit the government. President indicated that he wouldn’t give in to pressure from any party.

JHU spokesman Nishantha Sri Waranasinghe on Monday night told TNL that although the LTTE had been defeated, a section of the government wanted to implement the 13th Amendment at the behest of New Delhi. He accused the government of succumbing to Indian pressure.

The JHU warning came close on the heels of the President reassuring India that Sri Lanka would implement the 13th Amendment. A three-member delegation comprising Basil Rajapaksa, MP, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and Lalith Weeratunga, Secretary to the President, early this month visited New Delhi, where the two parties discussed the entire gamut of issues.

Recently, Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena and Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage told an Information department briefing that the government would go ahead with the 13th Amendment though NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa had strongly objected to it.

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