Gotabhaya Rajapaksa at the Reconciliation Commission. My head in the background. Daily Mirror screenshot
Oh, Gotabhaya. I used to hate him viscerally but I don’t anymore. He still puts his foot in it pretty consistently. Most recently,
“The existing constitution is more than enough for us to live together. I don’t think there is any issue on this more than that.
“I mean this was given as a solution for the whole thing with the discussion of these people. I mean now the LTTE is gone, I don’t think there is any requirement.
“I mean what can you do more than this? … Devolution wise I think we have done enough, I don’t think there is a necessity to go beyond that.” (via Daily Mirror)
What’s sad here is that his supporters will take this one way, his opponents another, and neither will really change. I say sad because what he’s saying actually makes sense.
Sri Lanka actually ‘did’ a political solution in the form of the 13th and 17th amendments. The 13th devolves power to Provincial Councils and the 17th
breaks broke it up into Constitutional Councils at the center. So, within the Constitution power is significantly devolved. Gota is right on that.
Where he’s wrong is general self-awareness. Just look at who’s making this statement. The unelected Defence Secretary, appointed by his own brother. Democratic devolution obviously hasn’t happened.
Sri Lanka’s Constitution is crappy but if we just implemented it we’d be better off than we are today. Gota is right on the point. So he should, uh, talk to his brother and get it done.
Lift Emergency Law and elect and empower the Provincial Councils (with land and police powers plus). If you’re feeling generous you could throw in the Constitutional Councils, but no one’s going to make a fuss. Then, yeah, we will have done something. And it’s not that they aren’t trying. I think they’re electing the PCs next year. They could lift Emergency next month. So, I’m with you Gota. I’d appeal to my more locally devolved powers but they don’t exist yet. So, uh, talk to your bro.