Former militant and Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) leader Douglas Devananda, says he will ensure the full implementation of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution if he is elected Chief Minister of the Northern Province at the next Provincial Council elections, The Hindu newspaper reported.
Devananda has declared his intention to contest the election. “Unlike others, I can work well with the Centre and implement relevant policies on the ground,” he told The Hindu recently. “I will also strengthen ties with India, and ensure the full implementation of the 13th Amendment,” he said, referring to the legislation that followed the 1987 Indo-Lanka accord, and led to the creation of Sri Lanka’s provincial council system. “Had India backed me earlier, they would not have burnt their fingers this way.”
At the same time, he sees the international community as “merely a midwife”. “We have to bear our own children,” he said, making a case for a domestic solution to the Tamil question.
Devananda would be competing with Northern Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran, who appears keen on a second term, though some within the TNA are resisting his candidacy. While he has sent out feelers to the leadership, the CM is also mulling a new political vehicle, local media reports say, as a fall back option, should he be denied the ticket.
There is also considerable support within the TNA for Mavai Senathirajah, leader of its chief constituent the Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK).
While the senior parliamentarian from Jaffna was expected to be the TNA’s candidate in 2013, the party leadership fielded Wigneswaran. His huge election victory proved a good start to the Northern Provincial Council but its appeal has since faded, as was evident in the local government polls. (Colombo Gazette)