Tamil Progressive Alliance (TPA) Leader and Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) Opposition MP Mano Ganesan, speaking during the all-party conference on reconciliation held yesterday (13) at the Presidential Secretariat under the patronage of President Ranil Wickremesinghe, expressed that the 13th Amendment to the Constitution and the devolution of power through the system of Provincial Councils (PCs) should be both the starting point and the way forward with regard to resolving the national ethnic issue, which, he noted, is not solely relegated to the North and the East of the country.
“The national issue is not restricted to the North and the East alone. The PC mechanism is functional in all nine provinces. The 13th Amendment to the Constitution is the point on which most here agree. The President, as well as former President and incumbent Government MP Mahinda Rajapaksa, Opposition and SJB Leader Sajith Premadasa, and many party leaders, have publicly expressed acceptance to the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. Hence, let this be the starting point. I wish to bring to your notice that once the Chief Ministers’ conclave with many Southern Provincial Councillors wanted the 13th Amendment to the Constitution fully implemented. That’s the way forward,” Ganesan told The Morning.
Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, Speaker of Parliament Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, Premadasa, and party leaders representing Parliament were present at the conference, according to the President’s Media Division.
Representatives of the Tamil National Alliance, the Tamil Progressive Front, the Tamil National People’s Front, and the Tamil National People’s Alliance also joined this meeting to discuss peaceful resolutions to the longstanding issues of the Tamil community. Individual representatives of these Tamil political parties have met with President Wickremesinghe to facilitate this meeting.
Addressing Parliament last month, the President invited all political parties for a discussion to look into the issues faced by the Tamil community and to resolve them amicably, while stressing that Sri Lanka does not need external interference in its internal affairs.