NPC proposes Northern and Eastern Provinces be merged

North East ProThe Northern Provincial council has proposed that the Northern and Eastern provinces be merged and Muslim-areas therein be declared autonomous regions through the new constitution for the country.

The suggestion is included in a set of proposals submitted by NPC chief minister C.V. Vigneswaran to the committee chaired by lawyer Lal Wijenayake to receive suggestions for a new constitution.

The proposal has been adopted by a committee comprising 19 members, including the NPC members and people’s organization representatives.

It stresses a separate parliament be formed by merging the two provinces within a federal mechanism.

Vigneswaran placed the set of proposals before the committee members at a meeting at Kaithady, Jaffna on 07 April 2016.

It also proposes that the upcountry Tamils be treated as a separate unit with self-governing powers similar to the northeast, including full police powers and powers decentralized to the people.

There is another proposal to grant land powers to the NPC without allowing centre’s mediation when using them for public wellbeing.

The new constitution should also give equal place for Sinhala and Tamil languages, and the PTA repealed with the enforcement of the common law throughout the country, it says.

Former LTTE members should be absorbed back to society to lead normal lives, while the north demilitarized gradually, according to another proposal.

The Wijenayake committee, appointed late last year, gathered public views and suggestions until March, and the constitutional council chaired by speaker Karu Jayasuriya and tasked with considering these ideas when formulating a new constitution first met on April 05.

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