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Sri Lankan president in ‘ethnic solution’ pledge

[BBC, Friday, 15 January 2010 19:35 One Comment]

_47091625_008399320-1 President Mahinda Rajapaksa of Sri Lanka has dismissed all efforts by parliament to find political solutions to the country’s ethnic problem.

Instead, he has said that he will present his own solution after the forthcoming presidential election.

The country’s constitution has an amendment providing for devolution of powers to the provinces.

Sri Lanka goes to the polls on 26 January in the first national vote since the Tamil Tigers were defeated.


Since his government’s decisive war victory in May, President Rajapaksa has spoken of the need for ethnic reconciliation.

But his critics say he has offered few concrete plans to back that up.

He has now made his clearest public rejection of proposals put forward by a parliamentary committee, which would increase the powers of the provinces in line with constitutional provisions.

Many Tamil people would like that, as two out of the nine provinces have an ethnic Tamil majority.

Mr Rajapaksa has now said he does not think any generally acceptable solution has yet been suggested, so "after the present election I am going to put forward my own solution to the problem".

He has remained vague on what this means although he has spoken of a possible upper house of parliament.

Devolution may be a popular idea among Tamils, but it is a dirty word for many of the Sinhalese majority – including the Sinhalese nationalist party supporting Mr Rajapaksa’s main opponent, Gen Sarath Fonseka.

It says that it is absolutely opposed to increased provincial powers.


All this makes this election a difficult choice for many Tamils.

BBC News – Sri Lankan president in ‘ethnic solution’ pledge

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One Comment »

  • Edward said:

    So called all party conference was labouring (?) for nearly four years at tax payers expence and Prof Tissa was from time to time told us and the international community the he was seeing the lighet at the end of the tunnel and a 95 % complete. And President too was agreeing without any dissent. The only people benefitted are the our HONOURABLE law makers. Now the President comes out that he can solve it after the edlection. Well he will be enlighten after the election so please wait. Are we flools or ?