Why police/land powers should not be devolved

This is my response to M.A. Sumanthiran, M.P’s (MAS) editorial page article of The Island of 25.02.2012 titled ‘Why land powers must be devolved’. MAS could find some of the cogent reasons against his proposition in an article by Sebastian Rasalingam, appearing in the Opinion page of the same paper. I as a Sinhalese, do not mind devolution of land powers (with or without Police powers) to the North, if we are talking in the context of the latter part of 1980s when the 13A was shoved down JRJ’s throat by Rajiv Gandhi. But MAS, R. Sambandan and the TNA as a whole are shrewd enough to point to the fact land and police powers are already devolved subjects under the 13A. They are completely silent on the widespread opposition to the Northern and Eastern Provinces being amalgamated as one Provincial Council under the 13A and the subsequent de-merger as a result of a Supreme Court decision. The Special Determination 3/2011 of the Supreme Court referred to by MAS seems to have been in the context of the validity of an amendment to a proposed act of Parliament where the desirability of formally devolving land powers to an existing PC had not been taken up for consideration vis-à-vis the SC’s rule re the de-merger.

Aside from the above argument, my point is, now we are in a situation where the LTTE has been militarily defeated and TNA is on a path to self-determination with the active support of the Tamil Diaspora with no interest in Sri Lanka other than avenging the Sri Lankan government for Prabhakaran’s death. No Sri Lankan government in its sane and proper senses would support a demand for devolution of land and police powers to a Northern PC to be established while the Tamil Diaspora living in a foreign soil is manipulating the TNA.

If the TNA is truly interested in a workable political space first it has to divorce itself from the Diaspora’s policies of revenge and work for the betterment of average Tamil in the North and prove to the government of Sri Lanka that their only interest is in a united Sri Lanka.

D. B. Wijekoon

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