Prof Rohan Gunaratna’s bottom-line can be credibly taken as the Gotabaya presidency’s bottom-line: “After the military defeat of the LTTE in May 2009, Sri Lankans are unwilling to devolve land, police and financial powers to the provinces.”
Police powers are controversial and can be introduced in phases, linked to the behavior of the Provincial Council, but what meaning can devolution possibly have without some substantive measure of the devolution of land and financial powers to the provinces?
Since the 13th amendment already devolves such powers to the provinces, does Gunaratna’s disclosure not indicate that these powers will be revoked? If they are, what will remain as the residue?
Is this not unilateralism, given that a bilateral accord, whatever its historical context, exists, as guarantee of such devolution?