President tells EU Sri Lanka cannot fully implement 13-A

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa told the European Union (EU) today that Sri Lanka cannot fully implement the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.

He said that certain aspects of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution cannot be accommodated, especially handing over Police powers to the Provinces.

The President had expressed these views when a delegation representing the European Union called on him at the Presidential Secretariat today (06).

Headed by the Ambassador of the European Union to Sri Lanka Denis Chaibi, the delegation comprised Ambassador of the Kingdom of Netherlands Tanja Gonggrijp, Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of Italy Allegra Baistrochchi, Ambassador of Romania Dr. Victor Chiujdea, Ambassador of France Eric Lavertu and Ambassador of Germany Jorn Rohde.

Congratulating the President on being elected to the Office on behalf of his and the delegation, Chaibi spoke positively of a well-organized presidential campaign and the well-delivered speech by the President during the swearing in ceremony.

The envoys were interested to know more about development versus devolution. President Rajapaksa stated that political solutions must go hand in hand with economic development for the benefit of the people.

Taking the 13th Amendment as an example, he noted that certain areas cannot be accommodated. Instead, he said that politicians must look at alternate solutions.

“For instance, if police powers were handed over to the Provincial Councils, it would simply lead to politicization of police work,” the President’s Office quoted the President as saying.

Underlying Sri Lanka’s neutrality stance, the President pointed out that the best way to overcome regional hegemony would be to assist small countries such as Sri Lanka to develop and move forward at the same pace as developed countries.

The delegation also commended the commitment of the President to address corruption, improve transparency and reward professionalism and meritocracy.

They emphasized that Sri Lanka can rely on the EU as a reliable and long term partner. (Colombo Gazette)

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