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JVP rejects Indian model of federalism

The Indian model was proposed as a solution to the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka, reports PK Balachandran.

india Updated: Mar 14, 2006 19:22 IST
PK Balachandran
PK Balachandran

The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), a key ally of the Mahinda Rajapaksa government in Sri Lanka, has categorically rejected the Indian model of federalism, which the moderate Tamil leader, V Anandasangaree, had proposed as a solution to the ethnic conflict in the island.

In a letter to Daily Mirror the JVP said that the news report that the JVP was willing to consider the Indian model of federalism was "false and invented".

"Our politburo has not considered a federal solution, only a unitary one," the Marxist-Sinhala nationalist party said.

The Rajapaksa government rests heavily on the JVP, which has 39 members in parliament.

The JVP went on to say that while it respected Anandasangaree, it could not agree with all his views, "including that on federalism."

Stating its basic policy on the ethnic question, the JVP said it stood for "a viable, vibrant, multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-religious democratic society in a unitary state with full democratic rights for all individuals."

Anandasangaree heads the anti-LTTE Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF).

In an open letter to the JVP, Anandasangaree had said that federalism was the Tamils' longstanding and justifiable demand and pleaded with it agree to the Indian version of it, as it addressed the concerns of the party.

The JVP is unwilling to adopt a system in which the Centre would be weak.

Rajapaksa favours British model

President Mahinda Rajapaksa, however, favours the British model, in which power is devolved to units like Scotland and Wales within a unitary state.

But so far, the Rajapaksa government has not come out with a Sri Lankan adaptation of the British model.

First Published: Mar 14, 2006 19:22 IST