Minister wants
land powers for North and East

To early to devolve police powers - Hisbullah


by Zacki Jabbar

A government minister yesterday called for land powers to be devolved to the North and East.

Deputy Minister of Child Development and Womens Affairs A. L. M. Hisbullah told The Island that it was alright granting North and East administrations control over land, since it was over two years since the LTTE had been defeated.

There was nothing wrong in devolution per se, within a unitary State, he said.

Asked if police powers should also be granted in terms of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, Hisbullah said that it was too early to do that.

Questioned why there should be any delay in implementing the law of the land, since the Mahinda Rajapakasa regime has declared the LTTE long dead, he said that remnants of the organization still remained and it would not be wise to devolve police powers right now, but it could be given at the appropriate time.

Asked to comment on the Illangai Thamil Arasi Katchi’s call for a re-merger of the North and East, Hisbullah said that the people of the East should be given an opportunity to decide on the issue.

National languages and Social Integration Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara told The Island recently, that community and traffic police powers could be devolved.

The Tamil parties, he said, should negotiate while participating in the proposed Parliamentary Select Committee on National Issues.



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