SRI LANKA, Allankulam, June 21, 2011 – Women ride bicycles on an unpaved road in the Mullaitivu District, by Perambara
Minister Champika Ranawaka is outraged that a provincial council would ask for police and land powers. Count me confused, cause that’s exactly what the Constitution says they’re supposed to do.
Government Minister Champika Ranawaka had on Tuesday July 26, said, “Just because they won a few councils they must not demand police and land powers.” (referring to Tamil parties, quoted in The Sunday Leader, also in MSN India)
If you read the Constitution, however, that’s exactly what they should demand. They shouldn’t even have to demand it, those responsibilities should just be there. “The functions of the Government and the Provincial Councils are listed in the Ninth Schedule to the Constitution, which comprises of three lists.” Below is from the Provincial Councils list:
1. Police and Public order. – Public order and the exercise of police powers, to the extent set out in Appendix I, within the Province, but not including National Defence, National Security and the use of any armed forces or any other forces under the control of the Government of Sri Lanka in aid of the civil power, and not including the city of Colombo, Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte, and their environs the limits of which shall be specified by the President by Order published in the Gazette.
18. Land. – Land, that is to say, rights in or over land, land tenure transfer and alienation of land, land use, land settlement and land improvement, to the extent set out in Appendix II. (Sri Lankan Constitution, Ninth Schedule)
So, um, correct me if I’m wrong, but since the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) won the elections, shouldn’t they get police and land powers as a matter of course? I’m not a TNA fan per se, but they probably couldn’t do worse. During the election people couldn’t even file complaints because the police didn’t speak English. During and after (I think in the case of the Uthyan Editor assault) the EPDP para-military party (government supported) was running amuck.
Anyways, as far as I can tell, the TNA is only asking for the responsibilities that Provincial Councils were assigned years ago. The government amended the Constitution once so if they have a problem I guess they could amend it again. Or they could just follow it. Also, if things are getting better, do we really need Emergency Law anymore? Just asking.