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Monday, 08 January 2018 14:37

DIRCs Discuss Constitutional Reform

District Inter Religious Committees (DIRCs) in Trincomalee and Batticaloa discussed Constitutional reform under NPC’s project Promoting Inter-faith and Inter-ethnic Dialogue in Sri Lanka funded by the British High Commission.

DIRC members discussed topics such as nature of the state, power sharing, devolution, affirmative action and reconciliation. The discussion was facilitated by lawyer Aingaran Kugadasan.

During the discussions in both districts, DIRC members were interested in learning about the merger of Northern and Eastern Provisional Councils. They had some misconceptions such as believing that the proposed new Constitution would offer more power and influence to a merged Northern and Eastern Provisional Council while some Sinhalese DIRC members from Trincomalee feared that giving the Northern Provisional Council more power would lead to a demand for a separate state. These misunderstandings were clarified by the facilitator.

During sessions on possible inter ethic and religious tensions, upcoming local government elections were identified as a cause in both districts.