Ruling collation parties, the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) and the National Freedom Front (NFF), have rallied together in their call against the 13th amendment, making a joint statement calling for its abolition.
At a joint press conference held in Colombo, NFF leader and government Minister Wimal Weerawamsa reportedly said,
"The 13th amendment to the constitution, which introduced the Provincial Councils to the country is not a suitable system for Sri Lanka. It was a system forced on us by coercion and PCs were set up in an undemocratic manner".
"The 13th amendment to the constitution and the establishment of the Provincial Council system were done under pressure from India following the Indo-Sri Lanka Agreement to establish peace and normality in Sri Lanka. But that purpose has not been fulfilled".
The Minister had previously called the amendment a “time bomb” and has continuosly campaigned against its implementation.
He was joined by JHU Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka, who added,
"The international community cannot take decisions on behalf of the people of this country. The Tamil National Alliance is refusing to participate in the Parliamentary Select Committee proposed by the government to devolve power. They are taking the problem before the international community without holding discussions with the country's leaders".
Welcoming the High Commissioner for Human Rights’ reiteration of the need for international participation in the accountability mechanisms, the leader of the Tamil National People’s Front (TNPF) Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam highlighted that Sri Lanka had “stridently been backtracking on this most fundamental matter for a credible accountability process,
Several of Sri Lanka’s key commitments to the United Nations Human Rights Council remain unfulfilled said Human Rights Watch during the High Commissioner for Human Rights’ oral update on Sri Lanka’s progress in implementing resolution 30/1 on accountability and reconciliation.
Noting that Sri Lanka had ”at times backtracked on its commitments on the judicial mechanism for investigating war crimes and other serious rights abuses by both sides,
The Human Rights Council and OHCHR need to ensure that Sri Lank abides by the terms of Resolution 30/1, particularly on the need for international participation in any accountability mechanism, said People for Equality and Relief in Lanka (PEARL).
The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is currently evaluating Sri Lanka for a threshold program that can potentially provide millions of dollars in assistance for economic reforms announced US Ambassador to Sri Lanka,