In a recent development, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) has released a statement concerning the 13th amendment in Sri Lanka. The JVP has called upon President Ranil Wickremesinghe to clarify his position on the implementation of the 13th amendment.
The JVP' leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake expressed at the rally that President Wickremesinghe has no genuine intention to implement the 13th amendment. Instead, he is strategically using the debate surrounding the amendment to build momentum for a potential presidential election.
He reiterated the JVP’s stance on the necessity of conducting Provincial Council elections at the local level. The party asserts that this move would inevitably challenge the current President, Ranil Wickremesinghe, and potentially remove him from office.
The JVP strongly opposes the devolution of police powers. The MP emphasized the deeply politicized nature of the police force in Sri Lanka. They argue that under the current structure, the Governors of each Province would be in control of the police force. They cite examples like the appointment of MPs such as Prasanna Ranatunga, a backbencher in the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna, who was appointed as an MP through the National List (the backbenders being to whom the posts of Governors would be allocated). They believe that such appointments would lead to crises throughout the island.
JVP Member of Parliament, Anura Kumara Dissanayake, emphasized that the party would not engage in any parliamentary discussions or committees related to the devolution of police powers.
Regarding land reforms, Dissanayake stated that archaeological sites should remain under the jurisdiction of the state. Furthermore, he clarified that departments such as the Mahaweli Authority, Forest Department and Railway Department etc. would retain stakes in state-owned land.
Image courtesy of asianmirror.lk
In a separate press conference, the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) leader and former President, Maithripala Sirisena, also addressed the 13th amendment. He called on President Wickremesinghe to be transparent about his position on implementing the amendment. Like the JVP, Sirisena expressed doubts about the President's intentions, believing that Wickremesinghe is unlikely to genuinely implement the 13th amendment.
Sirisena added that given the historical practice of the past seven Presidents maintaining direct control over the police force and the military, Ranil Wickremesinghe is unlikely to decentralize police powers.