India pushes Sri Lanka for the full execution 1987 India – Sri Lanka Accord
India has begun pushing Sri Lanka for the full implementation of the historic 1987 Indo-Lanka Accord. Reports in Colombo said that New Delhi will formerly be making the request to this effect from Colombo in the due course.
The New Delhi policy making circles now feel that the war in Sri Lanka is over, the non-implementation of the 1987 Accord in full or any further delays by Colombo in this regard could 'compromise India's political dignity' it is reported.
Meanwhile political analysts in Colombo said that re-merger of controversial North and Eastern provinces that were de-merged in 2006 could become a reality in the 1987 Accord is fully implemented by Sri Lanka.
Though the 1987 accord is 'implemented' by Colombo, but at present, it is only partially functional. The 1987 Accord stipulated by New Delhi on the then President J R Jayawardene, introduced devolution of power to Sri Lanka and created the current provincial council systems as a way to address Tamil grievances.
The then Lankan President J R Jayawardene and the slain Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi signed the Accord on July 29, 1987 in Colombo as boycotts and protests raged amidst a curfew in the capital.
The then Prime Minister R Premadasa and some key Lankan cabinet ministers absented themselves from the Accord's signing ceremony.
Though the 1987 accord is 'implemented' in Sri Lanka at present, it is not fully functional and a main point of currently proposed constitutional reforms is the amount of devolution to the Provincial Councils in comparison to the original 1987 Accord.
Currently, some crucial provincial powers required for effective devolution are still not delegated to the Provincial Councils and calls for fuller devolution has become a key point in the present devolution debate in the country.
Further, when Colombo drafted the 13 Amendment to the Constitution in which the Provincial Councils were created, instead of the expected two lists of powers for the centre and peripheries, Colombo introduced a third list called 'reserved list' to be shared between the centre and periphery, thus confusing the overall aim of the devolution itself, according to political analysts.
Critics of the PC system also allege that under the new Provincial Council era, due to the practical nature of the 'operations' between the 'Councils and the centre', the centre itself has gained even more powers than it ever possessed.
A key issue to be faced by Colombo will be the re-merger of the North and Eastern provinces. According to political analysts, one fundamental point that all Tamils in Sri Lanka clearly agree on is the need for a single, unified Northeastern Province.
Section 2.2 of the historic 1987 Accord specified for a merged north and eastern province creating a unified provincial council saying "...the northern and eastern provinces as now constituted, will form one administrative unit, having one elected provincial council.." Though the provinces were merged soon after the Accord.
In 2006, they were de-merged back to two separate provinces by the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka.
New Delhi pushes Colombo for the full execution 1987 Accord, N&E re-merger looms | Asian Tribune