Northern Provincial Council Chief Minister C. V. Wigneswaran said the 13th Amendment “can never be the final solution” in Sri Lanka and called on the visiting India Prime Minister Narendra Modi to “ensure maximum power sharing for the North and East” ahead of his visit to Jaffna.
“We know we have a friend in him,” said Mr Wigneswaran, in an interview to The Hindu, stating Mr Modi was a “proponent and an advocate of devolution.”
“We appreciate his concerns for us, in wanting to come to the North,” he continued. “We would recommend to him that it is time to reconsider the 13th Amendment, which was a fall out from the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord of 1987 and to replace it with a more dynamic system, which would ensure maximum power sharing for the North and East.”
Mr Wigneswaran added that “the path to ultimate settlement is going to be long and arduous”, stating the “thirteenth Amendment can never be the final solution”.
Citing Mr Modi’s time as Chief Minister of Gujarat which “transformed Gujarat into a successful State,” Mr Wigneswaran went on to add it “was possible due to the nature of center-periphery framework and content and quantum of devolution that is prevalent under the Indian constitution.”
“Even after becoming the PM he has dismantled centralized planning process to facilitate greater performance and productivity among the States in the Indian Union,” continued the Chief Minister, noting that “under [the Sri Lankan] unitary constitution there is no chance of our performing the way Hon’ Modi performed”.
“The inadequacies of the Thirteenth Amendment would no doubt be understood by him,” further added Mr Wigneswaran.
See the full text of his interview here.