South Asia

Rajapaksa issues proclamation on NPC election

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa. File photo

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa. File photo  

Even as the Sri Lankan government mulls over changes to the 13th Amendment, President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Friday issued a proclamation to the Election Commissioner to conduct the Northern Provincial Council election.

The announcement, which local agencies attributed to the Government Information Department, comes at a time when Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa -- also the brother of President Rajapaksa -- is in New Delhi to inform Indian authorities of Colombo’s position on the 13th Amendment.

The 13th Amendment, an outcome of the Indo-Lanka Accord of 1987, allows for a merger of Sri Lanka’s Northern and Eastern Provinces, upon a referendum among the people of those provinces; legislative powers for the provinces through provincial councils and executive powers through a board of ministers and a chief minister and devolution of power, including those over land, to the provinces.

However, a couple of months ahead of elections to the Northern Provincial Council -- predominantly a Tamil settlement -- the Sri Lankan government is revisiting the clauses on the land and police powers, and the merger.

A Parliamentary Select Committee was recently appointed to study the 13th Amendment, but some parties, including UNP – the main opposition here – and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) -- which represents a group of Tamil political parties -- have boycotted the PSC. The NPC elections, as per the President’s earlier announcement, are scheduled this September.

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Printable version | Apr 5, 2020 2:24:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/south-asia/rajapaksa-issues-proclamation-on-npc-election/article4884443.ece

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