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No starting point to resolution

Writing in The Hindu, Kumaravadivel Guruparan, a lecturer in law at the University of Jaffna and civil society activist, argues that "Sinhala nationalists and Tamil political parties are engaged in a wholly nonsensical and misleading debate over the 13th Amendment", whilst "the Tamil people have been reduced to mere spectators".

See here for full article. Extract reproduced below:

"The TNA is under pressure from India to accept a solution based on the 13th amendment, and does not want to be seen as rejecting something that President Rajapaksa is reluctant to offer. As a result, Tamil representatives are engaged in a futile battle with those who call for it to be repealed, to save whatever little is left in the 13th amendment. It is a wholly nonsensical debate: those who want to repeal the 13th amendment argue, quite misleadingly, that it significantly devolves land and police powers to the provinces. They also call for Parliament to be stripped of its powers to enable a merger of the North and Eastern provinces — when even the main opposition party (the United National Party) is against such a move. Just as misleading are attempts by those campaigning for the 13th amendment, including India and the TNA, to convey to the Tamil people that it is a good starting point to a political solution.

What then is the future of the 13th amendment? The more prudent sections of the Sri Lankan government are likely to prevail and the amendment, in some form or the other, will be retained. However, it is probable that the Government after the Northern Provincial Council election may try to remove the symbolic references in the 13th amendment that create the impression of granting land and police powers to the province; and make a merger of the North and East a legal impossibility. India may object to such measures: but in the midst of all this hysteria, any attempt towards finding a genuine political solution will be lost."

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