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Lanka’s Western Province opposes federal plan for Tamils

Sri Lanka

Colombo : Sri Lanka’s Sinhala-majority Wester Province has opposed a recent resolution by Tamil-dominated northern provincial council on a federal solution to grant political autonomy to Tamils, calling the move “constitutionally and legally incorrect”.

The Western Provincial Council yesterday passed a resolution against the resolution passed by the Northern Provincial Council, Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) Provincial Councilor Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe said.

Warnasinghe also serves as an advisor to President Maithripala Sirisena.

“We urge the President and the Prime Minister to reject the demand for federalism at a time the whole country has geared to achieve reconciliation with the Tamils. He said the North’s attempt is to create two separate federal governments in the island based on language and ethnicity. This is constitutionally and legally incorrect,” Warnasinghe said.

The northern chief minister CV Wigneswaran said the planned federal solution would not threaten the integrity of the island as it would not lead to separate states.

The Sinhala-majority state has historically opposed the Tamils’ federal demand since the island gained independence from Britain in 1948.

The main Tamil party, TNA is hopeful of a federal solution when the country is expected to formulate its new constitution this year.

The process is already underway to replace the current constitution which was made in 1978.

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