PSC on national issue to convene today sans opposition
Tuesday, 9 July 2013 00:47
TNA, UNP, JVP to boycott
First meeting at 3 p.m. today
SLMC, Vitarana notable absentees among Govt. nominees
The Parliamentary Select Committee set up to consult on the questions of devolution and constitutional reform will convene for the first time today, despite the boycott by Opposition parties.
The first meeting of the PSC to be chaired by Leader of the House Nimal Siripala De Silva is expected to take place at 3 p.m. at the Parliamentary Complex today.
The Government has already nominated 19 members to the PSC including G.L Peiris, Basil Rajapaksa, Maithripala Sirisena, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, John Seneviratne, Susil Premajayanth, D.E.W. Gunasekera, Douglas Devananda, Rishard Bathiudeen, Wimal Weerawansa, Champika Ranawaka, Vasudeva Nanayakkara and others.
Notable absentees in the Government’s nominees are Minister Tissa Vitarana who headed the All Party Representative Conference on devolution and submitted recommendations in 2006-2007 and Justice Minister and SLMC Leader Rauff Hakeem whose party has vehemently opposed the Government’s proposed revisions to 13A.
The TNA said it would not join the PSC calling it a thinly veiled attempt to completely dilute the powers of the provincial councils and saying its composition lacked credibility and genuine will to find a political solution to the ethnic struggle.
The UNP meanwhile has called for discussions at the PSC to be based on recommendations by previous committees on devolution including the Vitarana APRC and the Mangala Moonesinghe PSC and on commitments made by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to India and the international community, including the UN, on devolution.