The government yesterday expressed its readiness to discuss the repealing or amending the 13th Amendment to the Constitution with all political parties including the Tamil parties.
House Leader and Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva who responded to a question asked by Opposition United National Party (UNP) Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament the government was willing to take up this matter in the proposed Parliament Select Committee (PSC), which is to be set up to work out a political solution to the national question.
The minister said repealing the 13th Amendment was not the official stance of the government though some of its allies had called for it.
He said the government had clearly stated its stance in the Mahinda Chinthana policy statement and would not deviate from it. Therefore, he said the government was ready to discuss the 13th Amendment and the other proposals such as ‘Rata Sabhas’, district councils and state governments.
The minister said the government was only agreeable to a system which maintained the unitary status of the country and added that it was regrettable that the PSC had not got off the ground as the opposition had failed to nominate its members for more than an.
He said even the UNP had admitted that the 13th Amendment had been rushed through Parliament as a part of the Indo-Lanka accord and certain shortcomings had crept in.
The minister said the government had always made it clear to the international community that it was in favour of a Sri Lankan model of power devolution. He said the government was against the internationalization of the national issue. (Yohan Perera)