Devolution talks are ongoing - PM tells The Hindu

Devolution talks are ongoing - PM tells The Hindu

14 February 2020 01:00 pm

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said the program for devolution has not been stopped and the government is ready to negotiate with the representatives of the Tamil community. The Prime Minister made this observation with Journalist Suhasini Haidar of The Hindu Newspaper on his visit to India. 

Tamil National Alliance the political representative for the Tamil community seeks demands against the will of country's vast majority, the Prime Minister said in response to a query on the devolution through the 13th Amendment, pointing out that the devolution talks were being hindered due to such circumstances.  

In response to query centering President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's sentiment that development would be prioritized over devolution, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa told Haidar that there is nothing problematic about it, pinning down that development for people of the North and the East who suffered for three decades would be more important than devolution.  

The Prime Minister also said there is nothing wrong with singing the national anthem in Tamil, adding that even in the present the national anthem is performed by Tamil at any rally or public gathering in Jaffna. However, the national anthem ought to be performed by only one language in national functions, he emphasized, reminding that India whose heritage possesses numerous tongues sings their own national anthem in one language. 

Commenting on the 19th Amendment, Prime Minister Rajapaksa said the powers vested with the president and the prime minister remain unsettled, pointing out that it should be revoked for which constitutional experts are studying for possibilities.