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".
The UN Human Rights Committee’s concluding observations on the fifth periodic report of Sri Lanka, released on Thursday, outlined several concerns on the state of freedom of expression and participation in the political process,
A Sri Lankan court sentenced five Tamil Nadu fishermen to death on Thursday on drug trafficking charges.
The Indian government is to appeal the judgement, through legal channels as well as political channels, reports the Hindustan Times.
The UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said it was ready to assist in the rescue operation following a landslide in the Upcountry on Wednesday, which is believed to have left hundreds dead.
The Secretary General of the Commonwealth Kamalesh Sharma called for a reduction of the Sri Lankan military;s role in the Northern Province, saying this was important to address Tamil people’s legitimate concerns.