No merger – BASL

The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) whilst expressing that they were of the view that power should be devolved, noted however that they were opposed to the merger of any two Provinces. President of the BASL, President’s Counsel (PC) Udaya Rohan De Silva explained that such amalgamation of the Provinces, as proposed by the Tamil National Alliance in their call for the merger of the Northern and Eastern Provinces as part of the constitutional reforms process, cannot be done, adding that the necessary powers however could be given to the Provinces. He also added that the phrasing of the term ‘Unitary State’ as contained in Article 2 of the English language version of the Constitution did not mean the exact same in the case of the Tamil language version of the Constitution, noting that the Tamil language version therefore required amendment. De Silva PC further added that they would be organizing a forum in Colombo within the course of the month where the Government, the Opposition and lawyers involved in constitution making matters, would discuss the interim report of the steering committee of the constitutional assembly at length.

The private and unofficial bar will also be organizing seminars islandwide within the course of the next two months with the view of obtaining the views of their membership. “There is no merger. There is no separation,” he emphasized. He also pointed out that the Constitution did not provide for such merging.