In a public statement, the Tamil National People's Front slammed the 13th Amendment and maintained their steadfast commitment to “the hallowed Tamil National principles of nationhood and self-determination”.
The 13th Amendment was established in 1987 as part of the Indo-Lanka accords and created the system of Provincial Council and promised greater devolution of land and police powers to a merged North-East. However, despite its passage, Sri Lanka has failed to implement its accord despite repeated calls from Tamil politicians and the Indian government.
In their statement, the TNPF slammed the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) for its support of the amendment maintaining they were “contravening decades of successive mandates of the Tamil nation”.
They further highlighted that “the Provincial Councils were widely pilloried, rejected and boycotted by Tamil people, and considered not even a starting point to Tamil political aspirations of nationhood and self-determination”.
“We have dedicated ourselves to campaign to defeat the move to implement the 13A and Provincial Councils, and have commenced a campaign communicate to our people the grave dangers of the Provincial Councils” they conclude.
In an interview with The Morning, TNA spokesperson, M A Sumanthiran said that the 13A "doesn't fulfil the aspirations of the Tamil people."
"The 13th Amendment set up the provincial councils – that we welcome. It also enabled two or more adjacent provinces to amalgamate – that we welcome. But insofar as the powers that were given to the provinces and within the framework of a unitary constitution, that experiment is a failure as we envisaged, because the centre has been taking back powers that were granted on paper under 13A," he added.
Sumanthiran also noted that while the TNA welcomes the framework of the 13A, "it is fitted into a system that is unitary in character and doesn’t enable it to actually reach a meaningful scheme of devolution."
Read the TNPF's full statement here.