Sri Lanka mulls devolving powers to provinces

Colombo, March 21 (IANS) Sri Lanka on Monday said it is considering devolving powers to provinces through a new constitution now under discussion.

President Maithripala Sirisena said he supports devolving powers to provinces within a united Sri Lanka, reports Xinhua.

The president said the government was keen to give more powers to the provinces through the new constitution.

He noted that several issues faced by the people can be addressed by strengthening provincial councils.

He said that if anyone opposes devolving powers, that was a sign of how those people have not moved ahead with the changing times.

Sirisena said it was important that the government and the provincial councils reach an understanding on the issues at hand.

There is opposition to moves to devolve powers in Sri Lanka, particularly to the Tamil-dominated north of the country where Tamil Tigers once fought for a separate Tamil state.

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