The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) yesterday stressed on the need for Provincial Councils (PCs) to be given fiscal powers through the new Constitution.
At the same time, the TNA has said that devolution of power to Provincial Councils must be done in a manner that the Northern and Eastern Provincial Councils could be integrated in a way that the authority devolved to PCs cannot be taken over by the Government, through the New Constitution.
This was emphasized by Jaffna District TNA Member of Parliament President’s Counsel M.A. Sumanthiran, in response to an inquiry made by Ceylon Today.
When asked what the TNA would do, if by chance these three demands are not addressed in the new Constitution, Sumanthiran said that the TNA will not support it in Parliament; he also stated that these three demands must be included in the Constitution.
“We cannot go down further. We have gone down to the maximum possible. Therefore, there is no saying ‘by chance’; these three demands must be included in the Constitution and the problem solved in a manner that is favourable to us,” he said. At the same time, through the interim report that the Government has publicized, an opportunity and a setting has been created where justice will be meted out to all ethnicities, he said.
Sumanthiran added that he has no problem at all with identifying Sri Lanka as a ‘Unitary State’ in the interim report as that problem has already been solved.
“Extremists in the South claim that this interim report has been prepared in a manner that will favour the Tamils. Extremists in the North are claiming that this report has been prepared in a manner required by Sinhala Buddhists. Both these accusations make it apparent that this report has created an opportunity for all ethnicities in the country to gain justice,” he said.
He said the interim report was not the final Constitution as there are several other points to be included in the final version.