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JVP leader backs abolition of Sri Lanka's Provincial Council system

Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake reportedly supported the abolition of the Provincial Council system in Sri Lanka in remarks made this week, according to News Wire.

The website reported that during a panel discussion held in Swarnavahini, Dissanayake said the proposed 20th Amendment is an amendment to the constitution like the 13th and 19th Amendments. The 13th Amendment to Sri Lanka’s constitution, passed as a result of the 1987 Indo-Lanka Accord, called for the devolution of powers through provisional councils.

Dissanayake reportedly suggested that the 20th Amendment to the Constitution “must provide equal priority to all citizens, irrespective of race or religion”. If the 20th Amendment makes satisfactory adjustments in regard to these issues, he affirmed the JVP will extend their support to the ruling regime to pass it.

His comments come after Sri Lanka’s State Minister of Provincial Councils and Local Government Sarath Weerasekara pledged to strip the 13th Amendment of clauses that would be crucial to establishing local control and provincial councils, just days after he assumed office last month.

Weerasekara, who is a retired rear admiral in the military, took his position as State Minister in an elaborate Buddhist ceremony, alongside the rest of Sri Lanka’s cabinet.

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