Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) will only support a move to rectify shortcomings of the Provincial Council (PC) system but would not approve an abolition of the 13th Amendment, one of the party’s MPs said yesterday.
The SJB announced it at a press conference yesterday, a couple of days after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for the implementation of the 13th Amendment. The Indian leader stressed it at a virtual meeting he had with Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa last Saturday.
SJB Puttalam District MP Hector Appuhamy said his party would not support any move to abolish the 13th Amendment but would support an amendment to the 13th Amendment which is directed upon resolving shortcomings of the Provincial Council system.
Former Provincial Council Member and SJB candidate for the Colombo District Niroshan Padukka who also participated in the press conference said some of the chief Ministers who ruled the Provincial Councils had failed to make use of the power vested to them. “ It was only former Chief Minister of North Western Province Gamini Jayawickrama Perera who used its powers to set up an institution in charge of the environment in the province challenging the central government. In fact, Mr Perera is considered as the best chief minister Sri Lanka has produced,” he said.
Asked about the SJB stance on the new move by the government to bring in an amendment to the proposed 20th Amendment, so that the President could dissolve Parliament only after two years of its term is completed, Mr. Appuhamy said this new move will not make any difference as Parliament still be under the mercy of the President even after completing two years of its term. (Yohan Perera)