The JHU yesterday said that Sri Lanka should adopt an Indian model of devolution with its unitary features as it was the only way out of the North-East conflict.
The party`s stand comes in the wake of President Mahinda Rajapaksa expressing his willingness to explore an Indian model of federal structure to solve the problem.
The JHU`s Deputy Secretary Udaya Gammanpila told the Daily Mirror yesterday that it had been pledged in the `Mahinda Chintana`, to devolve power to the North-East, only while preserving the unitary status of the country.
Mr. Gammanpila said that the Indian constitution is a quasi federal one, comprising, both federal and unitary characters and they would support any power devolution in Sri Lanka, taking the unitary features only.
?The Indian Constitution has stronger unitary features. We have to exclude the federal features in it, as otherwise it is in violation of the `Mahinda Chintana` manifesto,? he said.
The President had conveyed his idea at a recent meeting with the UNP delegation led by its Deputy leader Karu Jayasuriya, on the fragile peace process. The UNP had asked the President about his stand regarding the final solution to the problem. In reply, President Rajapaksa suggested to look for an Indian model of federalism, hoping his hardline election allies, the JHU and the JVP, would also compromise on the matter.
Constitutional lawyer and Director, Centre for Policy Alternatives, Rohan Edrisinghe viewed the President`s idea as `a step forward`, saying that he had shown a certain amount of `flexibility`.
However, Mr. Edrisinghe noted that, realistically, the LTTE would not be happy with a solution based on the Indian model of federalism.
In India, power has been devolved to various states, with Chief Ministers of each, having a certain amount of powers, with autonomy.
He said that in India, the centre had strong powers, where successive governments had abused them in certain instances, which he cited as weakness in it.
Asked about his opinion on the matter, he said, ?I personally prefer a stronger system of power devolution to the North-east, possibly a little bit more than the Indian Constitution.?