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More calls to repeal the 13th Amendment

Adding to the chorus of Sinhala voices calling for the 13th Amendment to be abolished, the JHU and the now infamous Minister of Construction, Engineering Services, Housing and Common Amenities, Wimal Weerawansa, joined in.

In a letter to President Rajapaksa, Weerawamsa, requested that a referendum be held to repeal the provincial council system, stating that the system was introduced without the public consent through the Indo-Lanka Accord of 1987.

Meanwhile the JHU's deputy leader, Udaya Gammanpila, told the SundayTimes.lk that the party plans to launch a campaign to repeal it, adding, the "13th Amendment is harmful to the government and, therefore, it should be abolished. This will bring an end to a series of problems."

Extract of Gammanpila's comments to the SundayTimes.lk:

‘Our party has requested the government to abolish the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. We have done this because the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has based all its arguments on devolution of powers as well as ideas of separatism based on the 13th Amendment.

“The TNA has resorted to action in the courts based on this 13th Amendment. The judiciary is helpless as this is now part of the Constitution. The existence of this Amendment is an obstacle to the development of the country. Whenever the country tries to move forward the issue of this amendment is brought forward stalling the progress. The 13th Amendment is harmful to the government and, therefore, it should be abolished. This will bring an end to a series of problems.

“There will be no issues in scrapping this Amendment as it was proposed through the Indo-Lanka Agreement. We are well aware that this agreement was forced on Sri Lanka and, therefore, withdrawing from this agreement will not have any implications. One of the main reason the country should abolish the 13th Amendment is because it is helping to propagate the idea of separatism.

“As the JHU we initially hope to have a series of meetings in the country to educate the party membership about the need to scrap the 13th Amendment. In Colombo we plan to have a separate series of meetings where we will be inviting organisations of the civil society on this issue. The first of these meetings will be held tomorrow at the public Library in Colombo. As we carry out our campaign, we expect that the government will act on our demand.”

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