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All Cey­lon Bud­dhist Con­gress against the 13th Amend­ment Pro­vin­cial Po­lice over rides the pow

3 July 2013 04:43 am - 1     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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By Shihara Maduwage

Representatives of the All Cey­lon Bud­dhist Con­gress, Pres­i­dent’s Coun­sel Man­o­hara R. De Sil­va and Pra­san­na De Al­wis high­ligh­t the harm­ful con­se­quen­ces of the 13th Amend­ment to the na­tion.

The law­yers who gave an in­sight in­to the 13th Amend­ment from a le­gal per­spec­tive main­tained that the big­gest is­sue in the 13th Amend­ment was with the Po­lice Rights.

De Sil­va ex­plained that while Pro­vin­cial Coun­cils did not have their own po­lice forces cur­rent­ly, af­ter the elec­tions in the North­ern Prov­ince, un­der the 13th Amend­ment the North­ern Pro­vin­cial Coun­cil had the right to ask for a Pro­vin­cial Po­lice Com­mis­sion.

“Po­lice pow­ers and all pow­er re­lat­ing to law and or­der and pub­lic or­der are set out in the Pro­vin­cial Coun­cils list,” he sta­ted.
“This em­pow­ers Pro­vin­cial Coun­cils not on­ly to ex­er­cise po­lice pow­ers but al­so to leg­is­late on any mat­ter fall­ing with­in the sub­ject of law and or­der.

" If we blocked these rights, we would be ac­cused of vi­o­lat­ing the Con­sti­tu­tion­al and hu­man rights of the North­ern peo­ple. They can even take it to in­ter­na­tion­al courts. It could put the foun­da­tion for an even more se­vere, rev­o­lu­tion or a civ­il war. "

“The dan­ger is that the pow­ers giv­en to the pro­vin­cial po­lice com­mis­sion over­ride the pow­ers of the Na­tion­al Po­lice.”
Echo­ing the views of De Sil­va, De Al­wis sta­ted that ac­cord­ing to the pro­vi­sions in the 13th Amend­ment, the Na­tion­al Po­lice had no right to wear their po­lice uni­forms in the prov­in­ces.



“There are sev­er­al re­stric­tions placed on the na­tion­al po­lice di­vi­sion un­der the 13th Amend­ment,” he said.
“If chas­ing a crim­i­nal, the na­tion­al po­lice don’t have the right to fol­low the said crim­i­nal to an­oth­er prov­ince and make an ar­rest with­out the per­mis­sion of the Pro­vin­cial Coun­cil. Con­sid­er­ing the small size of our coun­try, it makes it very easy for crim­i­nals to es­cape. This is just one ex­am­ple of how the 13th Amend­ment un­der­mines the pow­ers of the Na­tion­al Po­lice.”

He sta­ted that by giv­ing po­lice rights to the pro­vin­cial coun­cils, the rule of law in the coun­try could be dam­aged.
“When we give these rights to the North, we will have to do so to oth­er prov­in­ces as well,” he poin­ted out. “The re­sult would be that there would be vary­ing laws in the coun­try. In such a sit­ua­tion it be­comes prob­lem­at­ic to im­ple­ment the laws that gov­ern the na­tion.”
 Ac­cord­ing to De Sil­va the big­gest threat posed to the na­tion due to the 13th Amend­ment was that in­for­ma­tion to the cen­tral gov­ern­ment was blocked by the re­stric­tions placed on the Na­tion­al Po­lice.

“It is through the po­lice that the cen­tral gov­ern­ment can re­ceive in­for­ma­tion about ter­ro­rist threats and oth­er such in­tel­li­gence,” he sta­ted.
“Since the na­tion­al po­lice was ba­si­cal­ly pow­er­less in the midst of a pro­vin­cial po­lice, these vi­tal dis­patch­es of in­for­ma­tion are blocked from reach­ing the gov­ern­ment. This could be a very dan­ger­ous sit­ua­tion as it poses a threat to na­tion­al se­cur­i­ty.”



He add­ed that af­ter hold­ing elec­tions in the North, if the gov­ern­ment doesn’t give the prov­in­ces the rights high­ligh­ted in the 13th Amend­ment, the coun­try would be in­vit­ing trou­ble from the in­ter­na­tion­al com­mun­i­ty.

De Sil­va al­so high­ligh­ted that even though the 13th Amend­ment fol­lowed the In­di­an Con­sti­tu­tion, even the In­di­an cen­tral gov­ern­ment still re­served the right to in­ter­vene in cer­tain sit­ua­tions. How­ev­er, he re­vealed that the 13th Amend­ment of Sri Lan­ka with­held these pow­ers of the cen­tral gov­ern­ment, thus mak­ing it even more dan­ger­ous to the na­tion than in the In­di­an Con­sti­tu­tion.  

“If the 13th Amend­ment was still in place af­ter a North­ern Pro­vin­cial Coun­cil was es­tab­lish­ed, con­sti­tu­tion­al­ly we would have to give them these rights in­clu­ded in it,” De Sil­va said.  “If we blocked these rights, we would be ac­cused of vi­o­lat­ing the Con­sti­tu­tion­al and hu­man rights of the North­ern peo­ple. They can even take it to in­ter­na­tion­al courts. It could put the foun­da­tion for an even more se­vere, rev­o­lu­tion or a civ­il war.  “There­fore, it is cru­cial to abol­ish the 13th Amend­ment or at least re­move these dan­ger­ous pro­vi­sions from it be­fore hold­ing elec­tions,” he said.

Pix by Nis­al Bad­uge
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  • Aravinda Monday, 02 June 2014 08:34 AM

    My opinion is to go for island wide referendum and get this amendment abolished.


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