Sri Lanka

Federalism in Sri Lanka: One Concept, Two Conceptions?

Federalism in Sri Lanka: One Concept, Two Conceptions?

Abstract

Federalism is broadly defined as a political system in which power is shared between a central government and state governments. However, federalism has come to mean two different things to Sri Lankans. As such, the following article traces the evolution of the concept of federalism among the Sinhalese and Tamils of Sri Lanka.  

 

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Posted by Rochel Canagasabey in Case Studies, 0 comments
Sri Lanka: Devolution, Secession and Current Debates on the “F” Word

Sri Lanka: Devolution, Secession and Current Debates on the “F” Word

Abstract

While in constitutional theory, a unitary state is one in which there is only one ultimate source of state power, for many Sri Lankans ‘unitary’ means ‘oneness’ or ‘one country’. The Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution introduced limited devolution, but successive governments have been taking back powers to the Centre using all conceivable means. Sinhala nationalists who oppose any devolution equate devolution with federalism and have raised the bogey that more devolution would necessarily result in secession. On the other hand, the Tamil fear is that devolution within a unitary state would lead to rule of the majority and centralization of power. This short contribution examines the development of decentralisation in the context of Sri Lanka, including the recent interim report of the Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly.

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Posted by Jayampathy Wickramaratne in Case Studies, 0 comments