Need to strengthen federal spirit within a unitary system

North East ProA day ahead of Sri Lanka formally launching the process of drafting a new Constitution, former High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka, Gopalkrishna Gandhi, on Friday called for strengthening the “federal spirit within a unitary system.”

Participating in an event to mark the completion of one year since Maithripala Sirisena became President, Mr. Gandhi, who served here as High Commissioner during 2000-2002, said “all that made the earlier Constitution vulnerable would have to be kept firmly out and all that makes for the federal spirit within a unitary system strengthened.”

Underscoring the importance of the 1987 Accord between India and Sri Lanka, the former diplomat underscored the importance of the Accord, telling “there cannot be a better anchor for the ship of Sri Lanka’s inclusive unity than that India-Sri Lanka accord.”

Calling upon Sri Lanka to ensure that Tamils did not experience “new disappointments, new spurnings, new marginalisations,” Mr. Gandhi said while the Tamils must receive their due by way of “just and reassuring provisions” in the new Constitution that would keep majoritarianism out, they should not also forget that “just as majoritarianism is undemocratic, minoritarianism can damage Republicanism. Minority aspirations must be a charter but must not become an ‘ism.’” (The Hindu)

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