Rajapaksa to brief Indian leaders on devolution processNovember 9th, 2008 - 7:31 pm ICT by IANS
!– Imagr –Colombo, Nov 9 (IANS) Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa is expected to brief Indian leaders on the progress made by an all-party committee on devolution of powers to the provinces during his visit to India to attend the second BIMSTEC summit starting Nov 13.The All Party Representative Committee (APRC) was set up in 2006 by Rajakapsa and is tasked to suggest a system of devolution of powers to end Sri Lanka’s bloody ethnic war.
The state-run Sunday Observer, quoting APRC chairman Tissa Vitharana, said that Sri Lanka was happy with the progress made by the committee and the Indian leaders would be briefed about it.
Early this year, the APRC recommended to the government that it should first fully implement the devolution package contained in the 13th amendment of the constitution. The amendment followed the now defunct Indo-Sri Lanka accord of 1987 and deals with the devolution of powers to the provinces.
“So far consensus has been reached on 90 percent of the issues tabled at the APRC. We are confident that the rest 10 percent issues will also be resolved favourably,” Vitharana, who is also the minister for science and technology, was quoted as saying.
Ironically, the main opposition United National Party (UNP) and the Marxist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) have boycotted the APRC while the pro-rebel Tamil National Alliance (TNA) is yet to be invited.
External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee expressed India’s concern at the humanitarian situation in Sri Lanka when he met Basil Rajapaksa, a senior advisor to Rajapaksa, last month.
The three-day BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) summit is an effort at bridging gaps between the South Asian and South East Asian countries. It comprises India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Myanmar and Thailand.