‘We want substantial power-sharing arrangements in the new Constitution’ – R. Sampanthan

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Sampanthan with the visiting EU delegation

 

An European delegation comprising six members, including the Standing Rapporteur for South Asia, from the European Parliament Committee on International Trade, met with the Leader of the Opposition and the Tamil National Alliance, R. Sampanthan last week.

 

He apprised the visiting delegation on the current political situation. He told the delegation that the former regime moved away from democratic principles and as a result of it, the present government came to be in power. The present government’s attitude and approach are different from the former government, but their actions are very slow, he said.

 

He noted that the government has made commitments to bring reconciliation and amity between different communities in this country.

 

Briefing the delegation on power-sharing arrangements, Sampanthan said, “we want a solution within a united undivided and indivisible Sri Lanka on the basis of the dignity self-respect and sovereignty of different people who have historically inhabited certain regions for centuries”.

 

He further said that the Constitution making processes must recommence and brought to an end early”.

 

“We want to have substantial power-sharing arrangements in the new Constitution, an arrangement that will enable people to exercise powers in matters that are related to them, and ensures that these powers are not taken back by the center or will not allow center to interfere”, he said.

 

“We are being absolutely reasonable in these matters”, Sampanthan told the delegation. If the government does not deliver, it will enable the rise of the extremists among our community, and we may be compelled to take a hardline” , Sampanthan cautioned.

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