COLOMBO (News 1st) – India has called for full implementation of the 13th Amendment to Sri Lanka's Constitution, the controversial 1987 amendment that has never been completely implemented for 35 years due to vehement opposition from many of the country's Sinhala-dominated political parties.But what is the 13th Amendment that India's representative to the United Nations Human Rights Council highlighted, something that was drafted long before most Sri Lankans and Indians of today were even born?
Here's a look.13A: Up to 1987, Sri Lanka was ruled from Colombo by a central government, which resulted in areas far from the capital being virtually ignored in development programs and day to day governance.
The 13A, as it became known, required devolution of powers to nine Provincial Councils – Northern, Southern, Eastern, Western, Central, Northcentral, Uva, Sabaragamuwa and Wayamba (Northwestern).
It mandated the holding of Provincial Council elections. Perhaps most controversially, it required a referendum in the Northern and Eastern Provinces to place the question of merging these two provinces in the hands of the population in these regions.