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Sri Lanka’s 13th Amendment

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    World Affairs
  • Published
    9th Sep, 2020
  • The 13th Amendment is an outcome of the Indo-Lanka Accord of July 1987, signed by the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and President J.R. Jayawardene.
  • It was an attempt to resolve Sri Lanka’s ethnic conflict that had aggravated into a full-fledged civil war, between the armed forces and the LTTE (which sought a separate state).
  • It mandates a measure of power devolution to the provincial councils established to govern the island’s nine provinces, including Sinhala majority areas, to self-govern.
  • Till date, the 13th Amendment represents the only constitutional provision on the settlement of the long-pending Tamil question.
  • Subjects such as education, health, agriculture, housing, land and police are devolved to the provincial administrations.
  • But because of restrictions on financial powers and overriding powers given to the President, the provincial administrations have not made much headway.
  • In particular, the provisions relating to police and land have never been implemented.
  • Recently many social groups have openly called for the abolition of provincial councils after the new government took charge.

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