“I am Ranil Wickremesinghe and not Ranil Rajapaksa. I am not bound by what President Rajapaksa did,” states President Ranil Wickremesinghe; tells TNA that he was not bound to any joint statements issued by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s proposal to implement the 13th Amendment (13A) to the Constitution with the exception of police powers fell foul of the Tamil National Alliance yesterday forcing Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP M.A. Sumanthiram to remind the President that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa in three joint statements with India had promised to implement 13A in full.

“The joint statements issued by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa with India promised to implement 13A in full and to build on it to achieve meaningful devolution. It said 13A in full. Not 13A in full but minus police powers,” the MP recalled.

In response, President Wickremesinghe said he was not bound to any joint statements issued by Rajapaksa. “I am Ranil Wickremesinghe and not Ranil Rajapaksa. I am not bound by what President Rajapaksa did,” he said.

But the TNA MP also noted that during Wickremesinghe’s tenure as the Chairman of the Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly, certain agreements were struck on devolution. “Now to go back and say it will be with the exception of police powers does not seem like a meaningful effort,” he alleged.

However, Wickremesinghe went on to admit that 13A must be implemented in full. “But in the discussions we had earlier when I mentioned full implementation there was a big outcry and we decided that we will take up police powers later. So you need to decide on that,” he told the MPs.

Courtesy:Daily FT