Proposals of the Northern Provincial Council 

ArulMozhi.T.N.K 9/4/16

  
Northern Provincial Council (NPC) Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran on the 7th of April put forward his proposals on constitutional reforms to the council. The resolution was prepared by a 19 member panel of the Northern Provincial council.

Following the debate session this resolution is expected to be finalised by the 12th of April and will be handed over to the Opposition leader R.Sampanthan on the 16th of April in Jaffna.  The main aspects of the resolution are as follows.
  
  
The resolution proposes;

  • ​​A two state model consisting of a merged North and East Tamil state and a single Sinhala state.

  • The need for a federal system to ensure proper devolution of power to all its citizens.

  • To declare the Muslim majority districts within the Eastern province and Upcountry Tamils as autonomous regions.

  • Separate State Parliaments and requires the legislation proposed by the Central Government to be approved by the State Parliaments and autonomous regions before implementation.

  • Reiterates the State’s need for police and land powers.

  • That Colombo should function as an administrative capital.

  • That the minorities should not be dependent on the majority of the region and every citizen should be treated equally and should have an equal status.

  • Power should not be concentrated to just one community and should be shared amongst all community who share this island nation.

  • An immediate withdrawal of the Prevention of Terrorism Act.
  
Even though the proposals for autonomous regions fall short of a territorially non-contiguous Muslim majority council as demanded by the Sri Lankan Muslim Congress in the past, it nevertheless recognises the right of the Muslim and Up-Country Tamil communities to decide how they want to articulate their political identity as regards their relationship to the Sri Lankan state. 

The author can be reached at leftoutvoices@gmail.com.