The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) met with Sri Lanka’s Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) last week, to discuss power devolution and abolishing the executive presidency, in a move that marks formal dialogue between the two parties.
The Hindu reported TNA parliamentarian M A Sumanthiran as stating “all parties are agreeable on going ahead with devolution” and called on the JVP to continue to support a new constitution for the island.
“We told the JVP that the TNA’s position on the executive presidency is that it must be abolished,” said Sumanthiran. “If the matter comes up for a vote in Parliament, the TNA will certainly vote for its abolition.”
“While there is no political consensus yet on the question of abolition of executive presidency or on electoral reforms — another key agenda to be addressed in the new Constitution – all parties are agreeable on going ahead with devolution,” he added. “We conveyed that to the JVP and urged them to continue to support the process.”
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Despite repeated talks around a new constitution for Sri Lanka, just last month Sri Lanka’s president Maithripala Sirisena said that he was "not aware" of moves to bring about a new constitution and warned that “foreign forces” were operating on the island. Proposals for a new constitution have also been slammed by Sinhala nationalists, including former president Mahinda Rajapaksa who led a military offensive that saw the massacre of tens of thousands of Tamils.