The Irrelevancy of the 13th Amendment

in Finding a Solution to the National Question: A Critical Note on Sri Lanka’s Post-War Constitutional Discourse.

by Kumaravadivel Guruparan, ‘Junior Bar Law Review,’ October, 2013


4. Conclusion
I have tried to demonstrate in this article that given the structural deficiencies of the 13th!Amendment that it fails to even perform the role of a reference point to a
discourse on a political solution. This article calls for and tries to provide the sketch for a critical, nuanced approach to some of the rhetorical clichés (like ‘13+’) that
dominate the contemporary political landscape on the subject of the 13th amendment.  At a broader level, I have painted a pessimistic picture as to the possibility of finding a constitutionally negotiated solution in general.  I have tried to demonstrate that this pessimism is more deeply rooted and is not a reflection limited to the current political context in Sri Lanka.

The rhetoric and political play with the 13th amendment will continue in Sri!Lanka’s post war constitutional discourse for a considerable period of time. Those who have a vested interest in keeping the debate alive will do their utmost to prolong the debate.  It is likely that the next few years might witness an utterly useless battle between the Government and the Tamil National Alliance over trying to retain what is left over in the 13th amendment.  But in the midst of all this hysteria, any move towards finding a meaningful and genuine political solution will be lost.  Goodin’s conclusion that there is no constitutional solution to be found to the case of ‘radical social diversity’ might just as well as be true for Sri Lanka.

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