The government says the 13th Amendment to the constitution, which came about through the Indo-Lanka accord in 1987, was forced on Sri Lanka and is not one that was accepted on Sri Lanka’s own free will.
Government Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said that at the time the 13th Amendment to the constitution was proposed the Sri Lankan government was under immense pressure.
“There are good pints and bad points in the 13th Amendment. So the time has now come to change that. At that time to get peace people were ready to do anything,” he said.
The Minister recalled that even then there was opposition to the 13th Amendment by the JVP and the SLFP.
He said that today there is a huge debate on the 13th Amendment both among politicians and the media with some for it and some against it.
“So the President said that through a Parliament process it should be decided what changes must be made to the 13th Amendment. So the Parliament Select Committee. Even if someone says Eelam is needed the Parliament Select Committee will listen to that. Not that it will be agreed on. Put the ideas will be heard and then the Parliament Select Committee will decide on what’s best at the end,” he said.
The Minister noted that the Parliament Select Committee will be able to resolve the issue one and for all.
He also warned of the threat posed by giving police powers to the provinces saying that even India had at times suffered by giving police powers to the provinces.
“We must not have a constitution which could give room for terrorism to raise its head again,” he said. (Colombo Gazette)