Sumanthiran stirs up a controversy on federalism

Published : 9:10 am  September 3, 2018 | No comments so far |  | 


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LATE-CITY-DM-1-42By.M. Roshanth

TNA Parliamentarian M.A.Sumanthiran who is in a midst of a controversy over a statement he had made recently in Galle on federalism, said that media had twisted what he 
had stated.  

Referring to the media reports that he had stated that the Tamils neither want secession nor federalism, rather they want devolution by amending the Provincial Council system, the TNA spokesman said that what he meant was that Tamils needed a federal mode of administration without the labels of federalism or unitary State.   

 “There is no truth in the news published in certain media organisations claiming that I stood against federalism and in fact the media had lied to the public,” Sumanthiran said.   

He made the above comments at the media conference held in the TNA office in Point Pedro on Saturday on the current political situation in the country.   

“Meetings on enlightening the public on the new constitution are currently taking place in the South and the 7th such meeting was held in the Galle District a few days ago. Nevertheless, the Tamils may not be aware of them as the Tamil media organisations do not give due prominence to them. The objective of holding such meetings is to enlighten the public on the need of a new constitution,” the MP said.   

He said certain old Leftist parties were conducting such meetings and the TNA, JVP and the UNP were extending their assistance in certain places to those meetings.   

“We mainly discussed the abolition of the the Executive Presidency and to evolve a solution to the national ethnic issue in those meetings. Even though the JVP had tabled the 20th Amendment, their priority was to create a new constitution and if that was enacted, they said that their demand for the 20th Amendment will be shelved by them. However, as far as the TNA is concerned, even though we supported the 20th Amendment, we stand by our policy that the Executive Presidency should be abolished. Nevertheless, abolishing it alone will not bring forth a solution to the issues in the country,” Mr. Sumanthiran said.   

He said that there were two characteristics for Federalism in the new constitution that has been included in the Draft Proposal and that their stance was that the word Federalism should not be used as a name board while it should not be one that spelled out a unitary state either.