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word in this island – ‘devolution' on the other hand seems more acceptable.
INTRODUCTION 1. Federalism is the theory or advocacy of federal political orders, where final authority
is divided between sub-units and a center. Unlike a unitary state, sovereignty is constitutionally split between at least two territorial levels so that units at each level have final authority and can act independently of the others in some area. Citizens thus have political obligations to two authorities. The allocation of authority between the sub-unit and center may vary, typically the center has powers regarding defense and foreign policy, but sub-units may also have international roles. The sub-units may also participate in central decision-making bodies. Much recent philosophical attention is spurred by renewed political interest in federalism, coupled with empirical findings concerning the requisite and legitimate basis for stability and trust among citizens in federations. Philosophical contributions have addressed the dilemmas and opportunities facing Canada, Australia and Europe, to mention just a few areas where federal arrangements are seen as interesting solutions to accommodating differences among populations divided by ethnic or cultural cleavages yet seeking a common political order. 2. Most of the countries are threatened by a new upsurge of ethnic nationalism. Ethnic
rivalry has now acquired a new and vitally important dimension in the crisis of Sri Lanka. The nature of the ethnic strife in Sri Lanka, as in other parts of the world, is a part of the same world phenomenon of the desire of the ethnic group to achieve either supremacy or equality. 3. Since the 1990s ethnic violence within states has become much more common than
interstate violence and tends to be harder to stop, leading to the question, how states can avoid ethnic violence and best accommodate multiple ethnicities within their boundaries.
The problem in Sri Lanka, therefore, is to make the State a nation as the former now
consists of segmental polities with different loyalties. The aim of this study, therefore, is to seek an investigation into competing demands and responses in order to straighten the issue with a view to finding a durable solution to the ethnic conflict which, within two decades, has totally de- stabilized the country. The conflict in the last decade, involved physical violence, and it began to escalate with the growth of competing demands of the two major ethnic groups. The nature of the relationship between the conflict and violence is complex, and it has escalated largely because of the perception that politicized ethnicity needs to be linked with a struggle for national liberation. 4. The evolution of Sri Lanka’s ethnic conflict can be likened to a snowball rolling down
a hill. At the beginning it is small, but as time passes, it develops a momentum of its own, becomes larger and more complex, absorbs other elements, thereby making it more difficult to respond to. Sri Lanka’s ethnic conflict has evolved from one based on questions of representation, grievances based on discrimination and language to a demand for decentralization to autonomy to devolution. More recently the focus has been on Tamil aspirations including nationhood, self-determination and confederation. 6. The negotiation process between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation
Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has reached a new stage with the agreement in Oslo to settle the ethnic conflict through a federalist solution. In the light of the history of the ethnic conflict and the debate on its possible settlement, this can be seen as a major breakthrough, both from the side of the LTTE as well as the Sri Lankan government. The peace talks and the process of negotiating a settlement of the 20 year old ethno- political war in Sri Lanka will require ideas for the reformation of the political system of Sri Lanka, which are suitable to accommodate the interests and grievances of the two conflict parties as well as other identify groups, like the Muslim community.
RESTRICTED 7. As a result of above, the liberals of major ethnic groups have seen federalism as a
viable solution to Sri Lankan context as in many countries in the world with diversified ethnic communities. HYPOTHESIS 8. Federalism can be seen, as the only alternative one can perceive as the optimum
solution to the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka 9. Oslo Peace Talks GOSL & LTTE. The
statement issued in Oslo by the Royal
Norwegian Government at the conclusion of the third session of peace talks between the GOSL and the LTTE on December 05, 2002 read as follows, “Responding to a proposal by the leadership of the LTTE, the parties agreed to explore a solution founded on the principle of internal self- determination in areas of historical habitation of the Tamil- speaking peoples, based on a Federal structure within a united Sri Lanka. The parties acknowledged that the solution has to be accepted to all communities” 10. The above statement bears testimony to the timely need of search for a solution within the meaning of federalism. 11. Oslo Statement. Some 2 of the important decisions reached at the third round of talks
held in Oslo Norway from 2-5 December 2002 to the final round held in Japan are as follows:
Explore a solution founded on the principle of internal self deter ministration
in areas of historical habitation of the Tamil speaking peoples based on a federal structure within a united Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka Etnic Problem & Solutions -By Mr Lionol Guruge Sri Lanka Etnic Problem & Solutions -By Mr Lionol Guruge
Establishment of a northeast reconstruction fund. c. LTTE in partnership with UNICEF to draw up an action plan for restoring
normalcy to the lives of children (Since the Sub-Committee on prevention of Disputes in High Security Areas and Restoring of Normalcy had been rendered inactive, the LTTE decided to leave the committee) d. Immediate establishment of U.N. Fund for the reconstruction of the eastern
province and World Bank being recommended as its custodian. e. Invite Amnesty International ex-Secretary General, Ian Martin to initiate on
human rights in the context of the peace move. f. g. LTTE undertook to abandon conscription of children soldiers. The two parties mutually agreed to reactivate the Committee on Ceasefire
Agreement and prevent confrontation in the seas after the Sri Lankan Navy destroyed a trawler suspected to be an LTTE craft transporting arms. h. LTTE expressed its dissatisfaction over the government’s decision to hold
local government elections in the north- eastern provinces.
RESTRICTED HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF THE ETHNO- POLITICAL CRISIS IN SRI LANKA 12. The malfunction of the provincial Councils scheme, which, in fact, had quite a few
features of a quasi-federal scheme of government, and the resumption of military operations against the Tamil separatists have prejudiced a certain part of the political opinion in the country to observe the option of introducing a federal system of government for Sri Lanka. The Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF), which discarded the idea of federalism in 1972, has renewed its demand for a federal state and a few minor parties have begun to discuss the federal status as a solution to the ethnic issue. India seems to support the idea, and the Indian analysts considered the provincial Councils scheme as a basis, which eventually could pave the way for a federal status. The proposal for a federal scheme of government, as all previous attempts at such a solution, is specific to be disruptive in Sri Lanka and the manifestations of such a controversy has already begun. 13. The representatives 3 of Kandyan interests demand for a federal state was first made
before the Donoughmore Commission in 1929. The Kandyan National Assembly, which was an elite political organization consisting of the traditional upper-class elements of the Kandyan Sinhalese, went before the Donoughmore Commission and demanded federal status for the Kandyan areas. They placed a document titled “Detailed Proposals for the Reform of the constitution” before the Donoughmore Commission and demanded the division of the country into three different states:
“Devolution and Development in Sri Lanka” – 1994 Welikala, Asanga- (Discussion Paper) “Devolution and Development in Sri Lanka” – 1994 Welikala, Asanga- (Discussion Paper)
a. b. c.
One state for the Kandyan areas; Second state for the low country Sinhalese areas. The third state for the Tamil provinces.
The Kandyan National Assembly, on the basis of this division, wanted the Kandyan
state to be given recognition as a national unit, and it was to consist of the five provinces: Central, North Central, North Western, Uva and Sabaragamuva Provinces. This was primarily a strong appeal for self- government for their provinces to which they claimed are entitled under the Kandyan convention of 1815. 15. The Kandyan
claim for a separate state was again revived in 1944 before the
soulbury Commission, which, as its predecessor, rejected the demand on the ground that the need of the situation is to “rise above differences of community” They, however, thought that a scheme of provincial councils as an extension of local government would “provide favorable opportunities for the Kandyan provinces to undertake programmes of rehabilitation and development. This showed that the colonial authorities never considered a federal system of government as an alternative applicable to the conditions of the island. The then existing socio- economic conditions and the level of ethnic division provided no basis for such a scheme of government. 16. It was at this time that the late Pri Minister Mr S.W.R.D Bandaranaike began
discussing the applicability of the federal system of government for Sri Lanka. Since his views on this subject, the present day advocates of federalism to find a justification for the demand have used which he expressed at the beginning of his political career and they deserve to be examined in detail. This is relevant to the current discussion in the country. Bandaranaike, speaking on the subject “federation as the only solution to our political problems” (1926), discussed the applicability of the federal model of government. His views were endorsed by the Kandyan National Assembly, which demanded a separate State for the Kandyan provinces. 17. Bandaranaike framed his ideas on the question of federalism in the broad context of
constitutional reforms; in other words, he referred to an alternative scheme of government that deserved consideration. Basing his arguments on the island’s unique experience in the
RESTRICTED ancient past, he stated, “There were two forms of government in the island- the ancient system of land tenure and the Headman system of provincial administration. Under this system of government, the country remained divided into various units up to the level of the Gamsabhawa - the village council composed of the head of each family in the village. Bandaranaike saw this structure of both the social and political organization as a form of “loose federation bound by one common oath to the King” This form of government disappeared with the establishment of a centralized administration by the British and this, as Bandaranaike stated, was a “bureaucratic from of government. 18. Federal Demand. The4 need for a federal solution to the Sri Lankan problem of
majority- minority relations surfaced with the formation of the Federal party in December 1949, and at the very inception itself, it designated itself as the “Federal Freedom party of the Tamil- speaking people of Ceylon”. The aim of the Federal party, as has been authenticated by professor A.J Wilson, was to advocate the formation of a Ceylon Tamil State, and it, therefore, appealed to the nationalism of the Tamil people with a view to rousing them on the basis of the recognition of the existence of a separate Tamil Kingdom in the North of Sri Lanka, before the coming of the Portuguese in the Sixteenth century There were attempts, at the very initial stage of the formation of the Federal party, to think in terms of separate statehood with a view to federating with India. 19. This, however, was not pursued because of the probable reaction of the Sinhalese
majority in the country but the design was to enter into a larger Dravidian Sovereign State of
Welikala, Asanga- “Democratization and Conflict Resolution: The Rationale for Federalizing Sri Lanka”
Welikala, Asanga – (Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA)“Fiscal and Financial Arrangements in A Federal Sri Lanka” ISBN-955-8037-58-3
South India. This, undoubtedly, created a perception of fear among the Sinhalese who, thereafter, perceived the federal formula as a part of a wider strategy to form a Dravidian state in south India. Yet another perception of the Sinhalese was that concessions on federalism could lead eventually to a demand for a separate state, and therefore, they were
RESTRICTED not prepared to extend any concessions to the Tamil community. The Federal party, taking the fears of the Sinhalese as well as the reactions of India into consideration, adopted “the federal demand with out seriously damaging the unitary principle or providing undue encouragement to Tamil separatism”. The Federal party took the view that the problems they faced as a linguistic (Language) minority in Sri Lanka flow from the unitary character of the Constitution, and therefore advocated the conversion of the present Constitution of Sri Lanka from a unitary one to a federal one. The argument was that a unitary state established in the context of ethnic diversity couldn’t consolidate itself as a new independent state. The Federal party therefore called upon the Tamil people to agitate for the replacement of the present unitary constitution by a federal type of constitution and for the creation of an autonomous Tamil state carved out on a linguistic basis within the framework of a Federal Union. 20. The Federal party advocated an autonomous Tamil linguistic state within the
framework of a federal union of Sri Lanka and it, they argued, was the only rational and proper constitution for a bi-lingual country. They also wanted the adoption of a federal constitution to give recognition to the right of self- determination. This indicated that the basis demand of the Federal party has always been federalism though a fairly large section of the Tamil people themselves were not in favor of federalism. But they utilized the language issue in the post- 1956 period to support the opinion in favor of federalism. 21. Political Demands /Ethnic Tensions. The ethnic tensions developed over a period of
time though they heightened post independence. Although at the time of independence Ceylonese raised a collective voice for liberation from the British and a series of subsequent events lead to a deterioration of ties between the Sinhala and Tamil leaders. One such development was the transformation of the electoral system from a communal to a territorial one thereby putting the majority community in a politically advantageous position. Some of the other political and constitutional developments that contributed to the deterioration of ties were the infamous Official Languages Act of 1956, land colonization schemes for Sinhalese in the North and East of the country and education policies introducing quotas which restricted access to education and employment opportunities for minorities.
Consequent5 to such discriminatory policies by the majoritarian state the Tamil
politicians agitated and put forth their demands to rectify the situation. Although the subsequent government responded in the form of the Official Languages (Special provisions) Act of 1958 and designing proposals for devolution of power, lack of political will on the part of the state resulted in the non- implementation of the remedial steps. Of such steps the proposals for devolution of power demands discussion. Talks between BandaranaikeChelvanayagam (1957) and Dudley Chelvanayagam (1965) among other issues focused on the devolution of power to the regions. However neither the regional councils did not suggest in the first agreement nor the district councils worked out in the second saw the light of day. 23. At the Bandaranaike- Chelvanayagam talks a regional council system was worked out
in detail. The North and East were to have two separate areas but these councils had powers to work together for specific purposes of specific interest. The regional councils were to be vested with such powers as land and land development, colonization, fisheries, water schemes etc. With regard to finances for the councils, the council was to have powers to tax and borrow while being entitled to a block grant from the central government. 24. Despite repeated requests and as no substantial remedies were affected by the
government Tamil youth took to arms to win their demands. It was at a crucial moment of this armed conflict that the 13th Amendment to the constitution was made under pressure from India. However it was a failure in response to the political demand. In short the failure
Section2, Part B, Bandaranaike-Chelvanayagam Pact of 1957
of the system could be attributed to four factors, Structural deficiencies inherent in the system, lack of political will, the “Centralist” mentality among the implementing personnel and bureaucratic incompetence. Some of the structural deficiencies are the restrictive constitutional framework, which undermines the devolution exercise, the ambiguous concurrent list that gives opportunity to the central government to seize devolved powers and
RESTRICTED vesting authority on the central government to formulate national policy on all matters including those devolved. Such provisions provided opportunity for both the politicians and the bureaucrats to exploit the system for the advantage of the central government. To add to these obstacles emerge from within the system, opposition to the 13th amendment came from all sections of society including some segments of the government, the opposition political parties, the JVP and the LTTE. 25. 13th Amendment. Provincial6 councils were set up under the Indo- Sri Lanka Peace
Accord of 1987. This gave expression to the notion that Sri Lanka is a multi-ethnic and multilingual plural polity. It was also conceded that every ethnic community has its own special cultural and linguistic identity and the northern and eastern provinces were traditional homelands of the Tamil-speaking people of Sri Lanka where they lived in unison with other ethnic communities. Although the 13th amendment failed to give effect to the full devolution of powers to the periphery, Dr. Shirani Bandaranaike held the view that the powers devolved on the provincial councils in Sri Lanka far exceed those enjoyed by the Indian states under the Indian constitution. Powers devolved on the provincial councils under the 13th amendment are contained in three lists as fols: a. b. Provincial list (List No. 01), which includes decentralized items. Central government list (List No. 02) items retained with the central
Sri Lanka Etnic Problem & Solutions By Mr Lionol Guruge Centre for Policy Alternatives Edirisinha, Rohan- (Discussion Paper) “Federalism: Myths and Realities”
Concurrent list (List No. 03) According to section 154 G (5)(b) of the 13th
amendment although the provincial councils may make laws with respect to any matter in the concurrent list, it has to be done in consultation with the parliament. But the procedure to be followed has not been explained in the constitution. Section 154 G (6) states:
RESTRICTED i. If any provision of any statute made by a provincial council is
inconsistent with the provisions of any law made in accordance with the preceding provisions of this Article the provisions of such law shall prevail and the provisions of such statute shall to the extent of such inconsistency be void. Accordingly all matters contained in the concurrent list are subject to parliamentary control According to 154 G (2). ii. iii. No provincial council matter should become law unless such matter is The emergency regulations brought into force under the Public power to supersede, amend or suspend the passed by 2/3 majorities in parliament According to 155 (3) (a) Security Act shall have the iv.
operation of the Provincial Council Act. The 13th amendment outlines the devolution of powers for provincial councils but conflicts have arisen between the central government and the provincial councils in the actual implementation of the provisions. v. The northeast provincial council due to a variety of reasons has become inoperative whilst all other provincial councils are in operation. 26. It was only under the 13th amendment that statutory provision was made for
devolution of power to the periphery through the establishment of provincial councils. It was historic to have created near federal administrative structure in Sri Lanka, which continued to remain a unitary state. 27. The failure of this attempt at devolution and resolution of the conflict lead the PA
government to embark on the constitution reform project 1994-2000. The key features of this attempt that need mention are the removal of article 2 and article 76 of the present constitution that stand in the way of meaningful devolution. Although all of the proposals fell short of carrying the word “federal” the deletion of the unitary label in itself was seen as a progressive step forward. In the proposals Sri Lanka was introduced as an inseparable union of Regions and subsequently as consisting of the center and regions. To pacify those who feared the effect of deleting the unitary clause, a number of provisions were included to
RESTRICTED protect the unity and safeguard the territorial integrity of the country. These proposals carried two lists (Reserved list setting out the subjects coming under the center and Regional list, listing the subjects vested in the Regions. There was no concurrent list) specifying the subjects coming under each authority. Some of the glaring shortcomings of the project were the absence of a mechanism for regional representation at the center, mechanism to deal with disputes between center and regions and between regions, continuation with the subordinate nature of the regions to the center. Just like its predecessors amidst political disagreements the project was completely abandoned due to both substantive and procedural defects. 28. The PA Government-LTTE Negotiations. The new government took immediate The
parliamentary election of 16 August 1994 was narrowly won by the People's Alliance (PA), a coalition of centre-left, left and minority-based parties dominated by the SLFP. Having campaigned on a peace platform steps to initiate dialogue with the LTTE. In response to the peace-making overtures of the new government, the LTTE indicated its compliance to reenter peace talks for the first time since 1990. 29. Starting7 in October 1994, four rounds of talks were held in Jaffna between
government teams of varying composition led by the Secretary to the President, Mr. K. Balapatabandi and a four-member LTTE delegation led by Mr. S. P. Tamilselvan. All the talks were supplemented, and effectively driven, by an exchange of over 40 letters between the president and her representatives and the LTTE.
http://www.c-r.org/accord/sri/accord4/acc_18_4_95.shtml Government strategies for war and peace in Sri Lanka 1994-98- Kumudini Samuel
The first three rounds of talks yielded some results, notably the cessation of hostilities
and an easing of the government's economic embargo on Jaffna. During this period, however, it soon became apparent that the government and the LTTE had fundamentally different agendas. The government wanted to negotiate simultaneously guidelines for a formal ceasefire, a programme of reconstruction and rehabilitation for the war-ravaged north and east and a political package to solve the ethnic conflict. The LTTE, meanwhile, required a 12 RESTRICTED
RESTRICTED step-by-step process, which included a formal ceasefire and the 'normalisation' of civilian life in the north and east before political negotiations could commence. This position called for the redressing of the consequences of war before addressing its causes. 31. The LTTE made the fourth round of talks dependent on the acceptance of four
demands: a complete lifting of the economic embargo on Jaffna save for goods such as explosives and firearms; the lifting of the ban on sea fishing; the dismantling of the armycamp at Pooneryn, on the main road link between Jaffna and the mainland; and the right for armed LTTE cadres to move unimpeded throughout eastern Sri Lanka. 32. The government accepted the first two LTTE demands as linked to the people's well
being and indicated willingness to compromise. The embargo on fuel was to be lifted and fishing permitted except within one kilometer of army camps on the coast. The government also promised to review the status of the Pooneryn camp within three months or with the resumption of political negotiations, whichever came first. At the same time, however, it suggested that Pooneryn, as well as the movement of LTTE cadres in the east, should be discussed in the light of the cessation of hostilities agreement which had provided for the freezing of all military positions. 33. The PA Coalition. An alliance of several centre-left and leftist political parties, the
PA entered Parliament as the largest single grouping after the 1994 general election. It is dominated by the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), which holds 87 per cent of its parliamentary seats. To achieve a parliamentary majority and form an effective government, the PA was required to enter into coalition with the seven MPs of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) and P. Chandrasekaran, the single MP of the Up-Country People's Front (UCPF), elected to Parliament as an independent. Under Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge, the PA was able to persuade the Ceylon Tamil parties in Parliament and the Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) representing Up-country Tamils to support its initiatives for peace and constitutional reform.
RESTRICTED 34. While these promised concessions salvaged the fourth round of talks, the LTTE
declared them evasive and non-committal and by 18 April had announced their withdrawal from the negotiation process. On 19 April, they attacked and destroyed two gunboats of the Sri Lanka navy anchored at Trincomalee, unilaterally ending the cessation of hostilities. 35. Many explanations have been proffered for the break-down of the negotiations: that
the Sri Lankan government was not serious about restoring 'normalcy' to the civilians living in the north; that both the LTTE and the military used the period of 'peace' to re-arm and regroup; that the LTTE leadership was unwilling to countenance an openly democratic process leading to the solution of the ethnic conflict; and that the government sought merely to establish a favorable impression among the international community to secure economic assistance. What is clear is that, in unilaterally collapsing the peace process, the LTTE damaged its own credibility and enhanced that of the government, both nationally and internationally. 36. Ceasefire and Cessation of Hostilities. The cessation 8of hostilities agreement signed
in January 1995 by the government and the LTTE included many of the clauses of a formal ceasefire agreement covering monitoring committees, communications between forces commanders and restrictions on the position and movement of combatants. The contentious feature was the final clause under which the only condition for either side to terminate the agreement was the delivery of at least 72 hours’ notice.
The crucial difference was that the government, in contrast to the LTTE, took a multi-
track approach to negotiations. While it was willing to discuss confidence- building measures such as the lifting of embargoes, the rehabilitation of the north and the restoration of electricity supplies, the government was also keen to move forward on the framework of a political solution. The LTTE, on the other hand, wanted evidence that confidence-building measures would be implemented before they proceeded with further negotiations. The LTTE
RESTRICTED was also jealous of its perceived status as the sole legitimate voice of Ceylon Tamil nationalism. As such, it warned the government not to release political proposals without its input and approval. 38. Relations between the government and the LTTE began to sour in the next few
months. Elements within the government began to doubt the good faith of the LTTE while the LTTE accused the government of failing to fulfill its promises to relieve socio-economic hardship in the north. By 19 April 1995, all goodwill had lapsed and Eelam War III, as it came to be called, had begun. 39. Devolution Proposals after Failed Attempts. Having9 failed in its attempts at
negotiation, the government embarked on a new strategy for resolving the armed conflict, which was at once highly ambitious and deeply controversial. On the one hand, a full-scale ” military assault was launched with the purpose of eliminating LTTE control of the north and east. On the other, the government sought to devise a devolution package behind which all constitutional political parties could unite. Seeking to engineer peace while continuing hostilities with a powerful and determined adversary was a novel and high-risk strategy. The PA government pressed ahead, however, and published the first of three versions of its devolution proposals on 3 August 1995.
Premaratne, Eranthi- (Paper presented at the Euro Regions Summer University, Institute of Federalism, University of Fribourg,
Switzerland)“Sri Lanka: From a Unitary to a Federal State
Seeking to redefine 'the constitutional foundation of a plural society within a united
and sovereign Sri Lanka', the proposals set out a basic framework for the structure of devolution, for government finance, for law and order, land, education, the administration of justice and the civil service. They also suggested a specific government commission on devolution and a division of powers based on just two lists of functions; one Regional, one 'Reserved'. 15 RESTRICTED
CHAPTER TWO SCHEMES OF DEVOLUTION OF POWER: IN AN ATTEMPT TO FIND A VIABLE SOLUTION TO THE ETHNIC CONFLICT. 41. The federal idea is about unity in diversity. It means self-rule and shared rule. That is,
the centre, which shares power with the regions, is responsible for certain areas of government, whilst the regions administer themselves in others. Most commonly, areas of central competence are powers with regard to defence, monetary policy and foreign relations. Most federal states have elaborate formal or informal structures of intergovernmental cooperation, especially over fiscal and expenditure responsibilities. Federal inter-governmental relations are not only between the centre and the periphery; they are between regions as well, and represent interlocking mechanisms of power sharing and co-existence. This particular feature also illustrates the ethos of peaceful, amicable, co-operative interdependence that is the hallmark of federal systems. 42. It is in the wake of this that the present federal discourse discusses the model of
federalism to be adopted, nature and extent of the division and sharing power and nature and number of constituent units. It is widely accepted that Sri Lanka should not directly adopt any available model but rather study existing models and adopt and adapt one that is suitable to us. Some of the recommended models are the existing federal systems of Canada, India, Belgium and Switzerland. 43. Division of Power. Discussion on sharing and division10 of power is inherently
important in the discourse. In this regard as is the tradition it is expected that subjects such as foreign policy, external relations, national defence, will be retained at the center while education, health, transportation will be devolved to the periphery. However a number of disagreements between the parties are bound to arise during the discussion. The existing LTTE military structure and the future of national defence and the demand by the LTTE to
RESTRICTED receive and administer foreign loans and funds independently of the center and its impact on the future of external relations and finance are two issues expected to raise in future proposals too. 44. Another point that will be difficult to reach agreement on is the powers of each
authority over resources. It is essential for each unit to have sufficient amounts of resources for survival. In this regard land remains a highly controversial issue. Land under the 13th amendment is a devolved subject, subject to certain conditions. However the central government at all times effectively maintains a tight control over land, land development and related issues. Other subjects that are bound to raise heated debates are irrigation, water and forests. 45. What the two parties (LTTE&GOSL) seem to agree on is the problematic nature of
the concurrent list and the necessity to do away with it. Given the negative experiences of power sharing it is no surprise that both parties seem to want to draw a clear distinction between powers of the two authorities to avoid ambiguity and the consequent power struggles. As power sharing between the two authorities of power is inevitable, this objective may not necessarily be achieved. A practical hindrance to the smooth functioning of the
devolution Proposals of 1996
federal structure would be the “centralising” attitude of the Sri Lankans in general and the central government authorities in particular. The LTTE’s highly centralized attitudes are also bound to make the implementation of shared power even more difficult. 46. When discussing11 sharing and division of power a factor that demands attention is
whether Sri Lanka will adopt a symmetric or an asymmetric model. Those in favor of asymmetric federalism justify their view on the basis that if the Tamil people’s right to internal self determination is recognized and their aspirations for a homeland is to be met it is only but fair to confer them with special powers. Another argument in favor of asymmetric federalism is that since it is only the Tamil political groups that are serious about division of
RESTRICTED power they should be entitled to be conferred with extra powers. In this regard it is of the view that a Quebec style arrangement would be most suitable to base the asymmetric model for Sri Lanka. Challenges for such an arrangement would come in the form of a merged North East and Muslims, and resistance by the southerners. Just to get a feel for the amount of resistance that an asymmetric model may encounter. 47. Another issue that is discussed in the discourse is the nature and number of units.
Although the debate is tilted in favor of a territorial framework the non-territorial nature of the system comes up in relation to the upcountry Tamils and Muslims. With regard to the former it is argued that they may not constitute a “People” within the same category as the Sri Lankan Tamils as the two communities do not have much in common including their aspirations. There is also the question as to whether they would want to share power with the Sri Lankan Tamils. With regard to the latter the issue is raised as about majority of the Muslims live dispersed and away from the East. 48. Minority Communities. There is much ambiguity with regard to the number of
constituent units in the federal structure. It is also unclear whether North and East will
Subairdeen, “Muslims and the Ethnic Conflict”, The Island, 5th June 2003
constitute a single unit or if they will be de-merged. The Tamils of course demand for a single Northeast unit as the resources of the East is vital for development, hence the demand for internal self determination of the Tamil “speaking” people. The Muslim 12 community on the other hand is not happy with the idea of a single North- East unit and demand for a separate administrative unit for Muslims within such unit. The leadership of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) demands a de-merged East for the Muslims if the LTTE fails to stop attacks on them. The majority of the Muslim population in Sri Lanka continues to live in areas away from the northland eastern provinces. Prior to the onset of the ethnic war, their identity was not a contentious political issue. It does not mean that the Muslim community
RESTRICTED did not really have problems when the ethnic war broke out in 1980’s.Of course; their problems were not viewed in a political perspective. 49. In the search for a political solution to the ethnic conflict, the Muslim community
demanding a single administrative council in the Eastern province. Though a similar proposal
was included in the Bandaranaike-Chelvanayakam Pact, it failed to gather momentum till the 1980s. Whilst the LTTE launched its campaign for a separate state, the Muslims put forward their claim mainly for an administrative unit, which would guarantee their separate identity. The government made use of the Muslim community in the north and east for only war purposes and in consequence they fell easy victims to assassinations by the LTTE. Muslims who were evicted wholesale from the Jaffna peninsula by the LTTE in 1990 sought refuge in the eastern and southern parts of the country. A host of problems such as devolution of power, security, land and levy of taxes has seriously affected the lives of the Muslim Community. The Muslim congress, which really brought the Muslims to the political limelight, is in crisis today. After the ceasefire agreement, the Muslim Congress and the LTTE reached agreement on 06/04/2002 on the following lines:
Sri Lanka Ethnic Problem & Solutions -By Mr Lionol Guruge
a. b. c. d. e.
Return of lands expropriated from the Muslims by the LTTE. Restraining levy of taxes from the Muslims. Cessation of violence against the Muslims. Recognition of Muslim Congress as the sole representative of the Muslim Establishment of peace committees at every village in the eastern
community. province. 50. As the compliance with these assurances were not forthcoming problems arose again
between the two parties. Devolution13 of power to a single regional council for north and east would result in a 17.6% reduction in the Muslim population. It is quite natural for the 19 RESTRICTED
RESTRICTED Muslims to oppose any move to set up a single regional council, since their community constitutes 35% of the entire eastern province population. However, in the event of the eastern province being carved out, the devolution of power- manner of devolution based on population and the extent of devolution would pose a challenge to the authorities. 51. Apart from the specifics other mechanisms suggested are the double majority and a
mechanism for power sharing at the center between the majority and minority communities. From the point of view of the minorities it is essential that a “rigid” constitution is put in place to ensure that decisions taken and embodied in the constitution will not be unilaterally changed by the majoritarian governments and powers given with one hand are not taken away by the other. 52. The first milestone in the devolution policy in Sri Lanka was the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, certified on 14th November 1987 with the introduction of the Provincial Council System. Devolution of power was introduced for the first time in the post-colonial Sri Lankan Constitution.
The Indo-Lanka accord provided acknowledgement of the distinct character of the
Northeast, although the devolved powers granted to the regions were limited, leaving most powers with the central government. The 13th amendment permits the centre both to retain so much power and also to undermine devolved powers so easily, that it could not lead to substantial devolution. 54. The reform proposal from 1995, which is incorporated in the draft constitution
produced in 1997, represents the most far-reaching attempt to share power as a means of ethnic reconciliation. It defines the nature of the state as a “Union of regions” This draft
RESTRICTED constitution, in moving away from a fixed unitary state, has brought about a pattern shift in policy formulation towards a meaningful sharing of power between regions and communities. 55. Viable Proposal on Devolution. The most current proposal on devolution is the Draft
Constitution from August 2000 for which both major parties reflected the agreement. However, the proposal is rather unsatisfactory and even moderate Tamil parties who were willing to compromise and support the October 1997 draft, had difficulties in accepting it. The most significant negative change was the deletion of the reference to Sri Lanka as a “union of regions.” 56. Increase of good control at the local level would necessitate more independence of the
local Government from national party politics and financial empowerment of the local authorities. The same is relevant for the newly established interim institutions in the NorthEast of Sri Lanka, Which should work transparently, encourage people’s participation and should be inclusive of all identify groups to avoid the fuelling of new tensions. At the same time the new arrangements should avoid further disempowerment of the existing democratic institutions at the local level. The recently revived discussion on federal structures as means to facilitate conflict resolution in Sri Lanka needs to keep the different settings within the 8 provinces of Sri Lanka in mind trying to accommodate the claims of the respective minority groups. The question of autonomy is central to many conflicts today and regional autonomy can play an important, constructive role in mediating relations between different communities in multi-ethnic states. It can defuse conflicts. It is a particularly appropriate mechanism for the protection and promotion of the culture and values of a community. But it is not an easy device to put into operation, especially considering that there are often minorities within the newly created regional units, which again need to be recognized and accommodated. Great political and technical skills are required to structure the federal set-up and make it work. 57. In recent times revived debate on a federal solution to the conflict in Sri Lanka within
the peace process there is naturally the tendency to focus mainly on the conflict in the Northeast. Besides the model of a integration, the idea of introducing asymmetric federal
RESTRICTED structures, through devolving autonomy only to the North-Eastern Province and not to the same extent to the other provinces is recently discussed. That regional autonomy could be acceptable to the LTTE has been a major outcome of the first round of peace talks in Thailand in September 2002. As there are no similar claims for autonomy from the southern or central regions, asymmetric devolution of power or federalism could at the same time help to avoid overburdening the other regions with additional responsibilities to be carried out by intermediary institutions within a federal structure. With the encouraging signal made by the LTTE it seems to be the right time to discuss the potentials and obstacles as well as different models of a federal state structure in more depth and in a transparent way. This will require that more politicians, civil society activists and the people be getting involved in this discourse. There are still a lot of open questions and scope for discussion of different models of federalism. But it needs to be kept in mind that it is not only the grievances of the NorthEastern Tamils, which need to be addressed in the coming peace talks, but also generally the grievances of different minority groups in all regions of the country.
CHAPTER THREE FEDERALISM IS CONSIDERD AS A PERCEIVED POLITICAL SOLUTION TO THE ETHNIC CONFLICT. 58. The failed attempts at devolution of power within a unitary constitution have only
strengthened the belief among those advocating the division of power says that meaningful power sharing is only possible within a federal framework. The arguments for and against a federal Sri Lanka are by no means unique. Rather they are based largely on the fundamentals of federalism.
RESTRICTED 59. The Federal Framework. Meaningful division of power at this particular point in time
for Sri Lanka is necessary for two main reasons; firstly as a means of reducing the existing autocratic nature of the State and secondly as a means of addressing the present conflict. Federalism for the first cause is advanced for its salient feature, division of power. Thereby a federal constitution is expected to take the highly concentrated powers away from the center. As the present governing structure stands the central government is all-powerful and all powers including those devolved could be exercised by the center. Adding to the highly centralized nature is the executive presidential system. The federal framework is expected to reduce substantially the autocratic nature of the center and provide for a reasonable distribution of powers between the center and periphery. 60. As mentioned above proponents of federalism see this as the only way to ensure a fair
distribution of resources and opportunities. The present conflict and the two JVP insurrections were triggered off to a large extent due to certain sections of society being deprived of resources and opportunities. Therefore any sustainable solution should adequately address this issue. Fair distribution of resources and opportunities would ensure increased participation of those marginalized from both minority and majority communities in the democratic decision making process. A federal framework therefore would be the best to address minority grievances and also to solve many difficulties facing the marginalized within the majority community. 61. In the present context the federal constitution for Sri Lanka will be introduced as a
result of the resolution of the present conflict. Therefore the highly diverse nature of the Sri Lankan society is to be emphasized in the federal constitution and consequently provide for reconciliation. It is in this respect that the unity in diversity aspect of the federal system will be invoked. This coupled with the division of powers to ensure a fair distribution of resources is expected to provide for durable peace. 62. Opponents of the cause on the other hand argue that meaningful devolution can be
done within a unitary constitution. It is their contention that the present 13th amendment (with
RESTRICTED or without modifications) could be used if supported by political will. However what needs to be understood is that within the existing unitary framework the Provincial Councils occupy a subordinate position to the central government, which makes meaningful devolution impossible. 63. Strong opposition is raised on the point that a federal structure would lead to an
independent State first for the Tamils then for the Muslims and subsequently the disintegration of the country. It is argued that the demarcation of boundaries of the States and existing organized administrative structure would make secession easier. USSR and Yugoslavia are frequently quoted examples for disintegrated federal countries. What one should note in this regard is that though federations, both these examples were communist States in which democracy was a far cry. Feeding into the fears of potential secession is the LTTE’s total disrespect for democracy, their insistence on an exit clause in the constitution and their capability of unilateral and de facto separation. 64. Federalism is a lively discussed issue in Sri Lanka since 1926, when S.W.R.D
Bandaranaike advocated the idea of federalism as a constitutional response to Sri Lanka’s diversity. Federal and quasi-federal solutions have been central to the constitutional debate on the resolution of the conflict in the North-East. The potentials of conflict management through a federal system are discussed and promoted by different parties, academics and organizations. 65. Democracy does not guarantee sufficient representation for all interest groups, as
majority rule may permanently shut minorities out of power. In such circumstances of politically mobilized ethnic consciousness, a unitary state is liable to leave minority ethnic groups feeling powerless, insecure and excluded. The lack of influence over decision-making and recognition often leads to secessionist movements of mobilized ethnic groups. Federalism plays a valuable role in strengthening democracy by institutionalizing decentralization and thus preserving the autonomy of regional and local governments, and providing a better representation to minority groups. “Therefore federalism can hold a multi-
RESTRICTED ethnic state together by reconciling nationalism and democracy in a multi ethnic state giving territorial concentrated minorities authority over matters of local concern, security in the use of their language, culture, and religion, and protection from the discretion of the sentiments of the national majority”. 66. Disintegrated Federal Countries. Countries seeking to maintain the unity of the state
in multiethnic and Multinational societies choose federalism as a form of geographical pluralism. A federation is a way of bridging ethnic diversity by incorporating such differences within a wider political community. 67. The territorial autonomy enables national minorities to establish and govern their own
public institutions operating in their language including schools, universities, courts and regional parliaments. The following federal states provide an overview of the changing nature of federalism and discuss basic characteristics of the federal systems, Some of the recommended models are the existing federal systems of Canada, India, Belgium and Switzerland are given as annex A.
CHAPTER FOUR FEDERALISM: WILL IT BE ABLE TO BRING ABOUT LASTING PEACE? 68. Another case in point that needs discussion is whether a federal framework would
indeed be successful in achieving democracy if the LTTE continues with its fascist undemocratic practices. This is a matter that needs serious thought, considering the fact that LTTE claims to be the sole representatives of the Tamil people and therefore the legitimate authority of power. 69. A point that is repeatedly raised during discussions is the creation of minorities within
minorities and if this would result in the regional minorities suffering a similar fate as the
RESTRICTED national minorities. The demand for a separate State has been on the basis of the Tamilspeaking people right to self-determination. However Muslims though Tamil speaking, having suffered at the hands of the LTTE are insisting on a separate administrative authority for Muslim dominated areas. The few Sinhalese who lived in the North may never want to go back to a Tamil majority area. 70. Some of the other objections against a federal Sri Lanka are, given the small
geographic area of the country extensive division is unnecessary and setting up elaborate administrative structures would only result in unnecessary expenditure and wastage of resources. 71. After a war is terminated, the establishment of a federation on the basis of equal rights
for the conflict parties can be successful to prevent the outbreak of future conflicts. In this regard, the Memorandum of Understanding between the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE has provided the necessary condition to allow the debate on federalism to be reestablished and the ongoing peace talk provides the necessary foundation that the establishment of a future federal structure for Sri Lanka can be envisaged. CONCLUSION 72. The decision by the Government and the LTTE to explore a political settlement of the
conflict based on internal self determination for the Tamil speaking peoples in their areas of historical habitation founded on federal structure within a united Sri Lanka, in December 2002 as an outcome of the third round of peace negotiations, had cast the idea of federalism into the spotlight of the conflict transformation process in Sri Lanka. Moreover, it can be argued that it has removed the disreputable very idea was bound in as far as political discourse in Sri Lanka is concerned. 73. Federalism is somewhat strange to this island but the idea of federalism and the
legislative provisions paving the way for a federal structure is totally not new to us. The
RESTRICTED cardinal feature of federalism is distribution of powers between the federal authority and the federating units. The provincial council system commissioned under the 13th Constitutional Amendment marks the first attempt at devolving power to the periphery. It was also the first constitutional effort made to resolve the ethnic conflict. Federalism offers solutions to problems that arise in a unitary state. The essence of the federal system is unity in diversity. Other characteristics such as pluralist society, autonomy for distinct ethnic groups etc. are noteworthy features. 74. Federalism, incorrectly understood and purposely distorted has been vilified as the
formula for the disintegration of the state and division of the country. At the very best it has been dismissed as an idea whose time will never come in the local context and been deemed improbable and unrealistic. After the Oslo Communiqué on 5th December 2002, this had changed. Federalism has to be taken seriously. It could be the founding idea of a new social contract and constitutional special consideration in Sri Lanka. A state so dominated with its unitary character and an organization likewise monopolized and bent on secession, have found common ground in committing themselves to an exploration of federalism as the way out of animosity and the way forward for coexistence. “Under a federal constitution full powers are delegated to each federating unit. 75. The federating units have one or two legislative bodies of their own to discuss matters
concerning the whole country. Each province in Sri Lanka shall be entitled to the right of autonomy. There should be one or two legislative authorities to decide on the country’s special revenue and expenditure. Once the thousand and one arguments advanced against this system subside, federalism will remain the best form of solution for Sri Lanka’s travails”. As a possible solution to the minority, the Muslims have manifested an interest in an Indian model put in to practice in Pondichery in South India- a centrally governed system applicable to geographically noncontiguous areas. 76. The point that needs to be made and made again is that federalism is not a solution or
our current problem: once adapted and put to work shortcomings will be revealed and will
RESTRICTED have to be rectified. In effect, the federal project for democratic peace and governance will be always in the nature of a work in progress. However, given five and a half decades of ethnic strife and worsening governance under the defence of unitary state, federalism strongly recommends itself as the obvious destination of the necessary paradigm shift in our political and constitutional evolution. We need to get to know it, fashion it to our needs and make it work. This will be both fascinating and frustrating. Political culture as well as institutions and processes have to be transformed. Therefore all of us have to be involved and take both our rights and duties as stakeholders in a new Sri Lanka seriously. Sri Lanka is a country split on ethnic and religious lines. Such a country could be united through the instrument of devolution of powers. Only guaranteeing their rights under a federal structure could contain secessionist tendencies among different ethnic groups in a unitary state. The only viable solution to this long dragging ethnic conflict will be a federal solution, Asymmetric or the Symmetric? One needs to practice anyone of these two federal systems to see the feasibility.
IBLIOGRAPHY Sri Lanka Etnic Problem & Solutions By Mr Lionol Guruge Centre for Policy Alternatives Bindebir, Serap/ Handshin, Mia/ Jovanovic, Miodrag/ Rieck, Christian E “Federalism, Decentralization and Conflict Management in Multicultural Societies” International Community
RESTRICTED Buchanan, James M- (Discussion Paper) “Federalism and Individual Sovereignty” Cato Journal, Vol.15. No.4-5, 2001 Bastian, Sunil – (International Centre for Ethnic Studies) “Devolution and Development in Sri Lanka” – 1994(pp 198-205) Welikala, Asanga- (Discussion Paper) Bigdon , Christine (Discussion Paper) “Decentralization Federalism and Ehnic Conflict in Sri Lanka” Buchanan, JM (1995) “Federalism as an Ideal Political Order and an Objective for Constitutional Reform” De Silva, HL (1991) “An Appraisal of the Federal Alternative for Sri Lanka” Sridevi Printers (PVT) Ltd Edirisinha, Rohan- (Discussion Paper) “Federalism: Myths and Realities” Elazar,Daniel J- (Discussion Paper) “Three Federal-type Solutions in Dealing with Multi-ethnicity:” Published, spring 1999 Elazar, Daniel J-(Discussion Paper) “Federalism and Peace- Making” Commentary, November 1999 Fleming, Thomas- (Discussion Paper )
RESTRICTED “The Federal Principle” @ 2002 EBSCO Publishing. Manikkalingam, Ram – (Social Scientists Association 2003) “A Unitary State, A Federal State or Two Separate States?” ISBN 955-9102-53-2 (pp 1-6) Premaratne, Eranthi- (Paper presented at the Euro Regions Summer University, Institute of Federalism, University of Fribourg, Switzerland) “Sri Lanka: From a Unitary to a Federal State” Prof. Warnapala, Wiswa WA -1994 “Ethnic Strife and Politics in Sri Lanka” ISBN81-7013-129-4 (pp 122-128) Siriwardene, R (1996) “The Devolution Debate” International Centre for Ethnic Studies Uyangoda, Jayadeva/Perera , Morina- (Social Scientists Association) “Sri Lanka’s Peace Process-2002: Critical Perspectives” -2003 ISBN 955-9102-54-0 Welikala, Asanga – (Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) “Fiscal and Financial Arrangements in A Federal Sri Lanka” ISBN-955-8037-58-3 Welikala, Asanga- (Discussion Paper) “Democratization and Conflict Resolution: The Rationale for Federalizing Sri Lanka” Welikala, Asanga- (Discussion Paper)
RESTRICTED “Towards Two Nations In One State: The Devolution Project In Sri Lanka” Euro Regions Summer University Welikala, Asanga – (Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) “The Federal Idea” ISBN:955-8037-83-4 (pp 7-14)
Annex “A “ To Commandants Research Paper 1. German Federal Government. Germany has a strong tradition of regional government
dating back to the founding of the German Empire in 1871. Since unification in 1990, the Federal Republic has consisted of sixteen Laender: the ten Laender of the former West Germany, the five new Laender of the former East Germany, and Berlin. (However, Berlin and the eastern Land of Brandenburg are slated to merge in either 1999 or 2002.) The Land governments are based on a parliamentary system. Most Laender have unicameral legislatures, whose members are elected directly by popular vote. The party or coalition of parties in control of the legislature chooses a minister president to lead the Land government. The minister president selects a cabinet to run Land agencies and carry out the executive
RESTRICTED functions of the Land government. Minister Presidents are highly visible national figures and often progress to federal office, either the chancellorship or a position in the federal cabinet 2. The Basic Law divides authority between the federal government and the Laender,
with the general principle governing relations articulated in Article 30: "The exercise of governmental powers and the discharge of governmental functions shall be incumbent on the Laender insofar as this Basic Law does not otherwise prescribe or permit." Thus, the federal government can exercise authority only in those areas specified in the Basic Law. The federal government is assigned a greater legislative role and the Land governments a greater administrative role. The fact that Land governments employ more civil servants than by federal and local governments combined illustrates the central administrative function of the Laender. 3. The Basic Law divides the federal government's legislative responsibilities into
exclusive powers (Articles 71 and 73), concurrent powers (Articles 72, 74, and 74a), and framework powers (Article 75). The exclusive legislative jurisdiction of the federal government extends to defense, foreign affairs, immigration, transportation, communications, and currency standards. The federal and Land governments share concurrent powers in several areas, including civil law, refugee and expellee matters, public welfare, land management, consumer protection, public health, and the collection of vital statistics (data on births, deaths, and marriages). In the areas of mass media, nature conservation, regional planning, and public service regulations, framework legislation limits the federal government's role to offering general policy guidelines, which the Laender then act upon by means of detailed legislation. The areas of shared responsibility for the Laender and the federal government were enlarged by an amendment to the Basic Law in 1969 (Articles 91a and 91b), which calls for joint action in areas of broad social concern such as higher education, regional economic development, and agricultural reform. 4. All policy areas not assigned to federal jurisdiction are within the legislative purview
of the Laender. These areas include education, law enforcement, regulation of radio and
RESTRICTED television, church affairs, and cultural activities. The Laender retain significant powers of taxation. Land officials collect most federal taxes. 5. The Land governments also exercise power at the national level through the
Bundesrat, which is made up of representatives appointed by the Land governments. In this way, the Laender affect the federal legislative process. Half of the members of the Federal Convention, which elects a federal president, are Land officials, and the Land governments also take part in the selection of judges for the federal courts. 6. American way of Federalism .The principle of American federalism, created in the
eighteenth century, was bold and has greatly affected U.S. history. Its influence continues today. During the late 1780s the debates over ratification of the Constitution by Federalists and Anti-Federalists shaped controversies concerning the rights and powers of states in relation to the federal government. 7. The ideas stated in the "Federalist" papers are at the core of civic culture in the United
States and serve as a reference for citizens in other democratic nations of the world. The 15th through the 22nd "Federalist" papers, for example, discuss the defects of the Articles of Confederation, the federal system that preceded ratification of the U.S. Constitution. The 39th "Federalist" paper shows that federalism provided by the U.S. Constitution is a compound system that conjoins national and state powers. 8. Although it was not directly named in the Constitution, federalism is a central
principle of government in the United States of America.. This Digest defines federalism and discusses basic characteristics of the U.S. federal system; provides an overview of the changing nature of federalism in the United States.The word federal denotes alliances between independent sovereignties. "The Oxford Guide to the U.S. Government," an important source for any student or teacher of history, describes federalism in the United States as "the division of governmental powers between the national and state governments." "The Oxford Guide" informs that "state governments can neither ignore nor contradict federal statutes that conform to the supreme law, the Constitution" (Patrick, Pious, and 33 RESTRICTED
RESTRICTED Ritchie 2001, 234-235). Unlike a confederation, a federal republic does not permit a state to have full or primary sovereignty over its internal affairs. If a conflict exists between the state and federal government, the supremacy clause mandates that federal laws are supreme. The powers of the central or national government typically are enumerated in a written constitution. 9. Under the U.S. Constitution, any powers not specifically granted to the national
government are presumed to be retained by state governments. State governments have their own spheres of jurisdiction and often have been extolled as important laboratories for governmental experimentation. Throughout United States history, individuals have argued that the states are better able than the national government to respond effectively to public policy issues. Others seek the strength of the national government, particularly during times of crisis. The U.S. federal system has five basic characteristics: a. Federalism provides a division of legal authority between state and national
governments. Overlap occurs, but two legally distinct spheres of government exist. b. The states are subordinate to the national government in such areas as
management of foreign affairs and regulation of interstate commerce. c. Federalism enables positive cooperation between state and national
governments in programs pertaining to education, interstate highway construction, environmental protection and health, unemployment, and social security concerns. d. The U.S. Supreme Court serves as legal arbiter of the federal system in regard
to conflicting claims of state and national governments. e. The two levels of government exercise direct authority simultaneously over
people within their territory. Dual citizenship exists under federalism, and individuals can claim a wide range of rights and privileges from both state and national governments.
RESTRICTED 10. Political scientists define two types of federalism: dual and cooperative. From one
vantage point, federalism can be viewed as a "layer" cake (dual); from another it may be pictured as a "rainbow" or "marble" cake (cooperative). 11. Proponents of states' rights and powers hold that the Constitution is a compact
between the states and the federal government. Both states and the national government are supreme within their own spheres. Advocates of dual federalism argue that the national government cannot "invade" the power that is reserved for the states. 12. Proponents of the position that the people, not the states, created the federal
government want a cooperative approach to state-nation relations. Cooperative federalism emphasizes the "general welfare" clause and the "necessary and proper" clause of the Constitution by which power of the national government may be expanded even if the actions of the national government touch or overlap with traditional state functions 13. Federalism in Spain. Will Spain eventually cease to exist, at least in its present form?
It sounds an overly dramatic question, but it is one increasingly put forward by rightwing critics as the prime minister, José Luis Rodríiguez Zapatero's Socialists look for ways to keep Spain's more independent-minded regions happy. 14. As a growing rift between Spain's left and right opened further in a parliamentary regional problems are becoming increasingly apparent.
debate over socialist proposals to negotiate with armed Basque separatist group Eta, the country's Only a small minority of Basque people back Eta's demands for a separate state, made up not just of the three provinces of Spain's semi-autonomous Basque region, but also the region of Navarre and a section of south-west France. 15. from Plenty more, however, want the Basque country to have even more independence Madrid than the already considerable amount it currently enjoys.
There are similar demands from Catalonia, which wants more control over its own affairs.
RESTRICTED Several other of the 17 "autonomous regions" that Spain was first divided into more than 20 years ago are also seeking greater self-rule.As Mr Zapatero's minority government prepares to give way to some, but by no means all, of these petitions, Spain's traditionally centrist right - and some sections of the left – are furious. 16. Would federalism satisfy Catalans and Basques? Regional Basque premier Juan Jos &
ecute Ibarretxe, of the non-violent Basque Nationalist Party, has already put forward proposals that would see his region become a "free associate" of Spain with a right to selfdetermination. 17. The new government after winning elections recently, Mr Ibarretxe may be thinking
about toning down those proposals - which were partly designed to encourage Eta to give up its arms. Opinion polls show that around a third of Basques might vote to split from Spain if there was a referendum. Another third favour federalism. But centrists - on both the right and the left - worry that awarding the Basques the right to self-determination would be the start of a slow disintegration of Spain as first one bit, and then another, falls away. The Spanish constitution currently calls on the armed forces to "defend Spain's territorial integrity” That, and the fact that the 800 victims of Eta's terrorism lie heavily on the minds of all politicians, helps explain the virulence of the latest exchanges between Mr Rajoy and Mr Zapatero. 18. the Spain, with its 20th century history of civil war and dictatorship, is acutely aware of dangers of splitting into what were once called "the Two Spains".
"Little Spaniard who is coming into this world, may God protect you. One of the two Spains will freeze your heart," poet Antonio Machado wrote almost a century ago. Some commentators now fret that the divided Spain of yesteryear - though, this time, in a peaceful form – is returning. 19. debate. "The Two Spains were once more snapping their jaws at one another from the orator's
tribune," wrote Jesús Cacho in El Mundo newspaper after the recent state of the nation
RESTRICTED 20. Federal System in India. India, a union of states, is a Sovereign, Secular, Democratic Republic with a Parliamentary system of Government. The Indian polity is governed in terms of the Constitution, which was adopted by the Constituent Assembly on 26 November 1949 and came into force on 26 November 1950. 21. The President is the constitutional head of Executive of the Union. Real executive
power vests in a Council of Ministers with the Prime Minister as head. Article 74(1) of the Constitution provides that there shall be a Council of Ministers headed by the Prime Minister to aid and advise the President who shall, in exercise of his functions, act in accordance with such advice. The Council of Ministers is collectively responsible to the Lok Sabha, the House of the People. 22. In the states, the Governor, as the representative of the President, is the head of
Executive, but real executive power rests with the Chief Minister who heads the Council of Ministers. The Council of Ministers of a state is collectively responsible to the elected legislative assembly of the state. 23. The Constitution governs the sharing of legislative power between Parliament and the
State Legislatures, and provides for the vesting of residual powers in Parliament. The power to amend the Constitution also vests in Parliament. 24. The Union Executive consists of the President, the Vice-President and Council of
Ministers with the Prime Minister at the head to aid and advise the President. 25. President. The President is elected by members of an Electoral College consisting of
elected members of both Houses of Parliament and Legislative Assemblies of the states, with suitable weightage given to each vote. His term of office is five years. 26. 1Among other powers, the President can proclaim an emergency in the country if he
is satisfied that the security of the country or of any part of its territory is threatened whether
RESTRICTED by war or external agression or armed rebellion. When there is a failure of the constitutional machinery in a state, he can assume to himself all or any of the functions of the government of that state. 27. Vice-President. The Vice-President is elected by the members of an electoral college
consisting of members of both Houses of Parliament in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of a single transferable vote. He holds office for five years. The Vice-President is Ex-officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha. 28. Council of Ministers . The Council of Ministers comprises Cabinet Ministers, Minister of States (independent charge or otherwise) and Deputy Ministers. Prime Minister communicates all decisions of the Council of Ministers relating to administration of affairs of the Union and proposals for legislation to the President. Generally, each department has an officer designated as secretary to the Government of India to advise Ministers on policy matters and general administration. The Cabinet Secretariat has an important coordinating role in decision making at highest level and operates under direction of Prime Minister. 29. The Legislative Arm of the Union, called Parliament, consists of the President, Rajya
Sabha and Lok Sabha. All legislation requires consent of both houses of parliament. However, in case of money bills, the will of the Lok Sabha always prevails. 30. Rajya Sabha .The Rajya Sabha consists of 245 members. Of these, 233 represent states and union territories and 12 members are nominated by the President. Elections to the Rajya Sabha are indirect; members are elected by the elected members of Legislative Assemblies of the concerned states. The Rajya Sabha is not subject to dissolution, one third of its members retire every second year.
RESTRICTED 31. Lok Sabha. The Lok Sabha is composed of representatives of the people chosen by direct election on the basis of universal adult suffrage. As of today, the Lok Sabha consists of 545 members with two members nominated by the President to represent the Anglo-Indian Community. Unless dissolved under unusual circumstances, the term of the Lok Sabha is five years.
State Governments. The system of government in states closely resembles that of the Union. There are 25 states and seven Union territories in the country. Union territories are administered by the president through an administrator appointed by him. Till 1 February 1992, the Union Territory of Delhi was governed by the Central government through an Administrator appointed by the President of India. Through a Constitutional amendment in Parliament, the Union Territory of Delhi is now called the National Capital Territory of Delhi from 1 February 1992. General elections to the Legislative assembly of the National Capital Territory were held in November 1993.
Political System. A recognised political party has been classified as a National Party
or a State Party. If a political party is recognised in four or more states, it is considered as a National Party.The Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party, Janata Dal, Communist Party of India and Communist Party of India (Marxist) are the prominent National Parties in the Country. Telugu Desam in Andhra Pradesh, Asom Gana Parishad in Assam, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha in Bihar, Maharashtrwad Gomantak Party in Goa, National Conference in Jammu and Kashmir, Muslim League in Kerala, Shiv Sena in Maharashtra, Akali Dal in Punjab, AllIndia Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam in Tamil Nadu, Bahujan Samaj Party and Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh and All-India Forward Block in West Bengal are the prominent state parties. 34. Eleven Lok Sabhas have been constituted so far. Except for the short-lived Sixth and
Ninth Lok Sabha, the Congress Party ruled the country. The Sixth Lok Sabha functioned for
RESTRICTED about two years and four months and the Ninth Lok Sabha functioned for one year and two months. 35. Judicial System. The Supreme Court is the head court in the country. The High Court
stands at the head of the state's judicial administration. Each state is divided into judicial districts presided over by a district and sessions judge, who is the highest judicial authority in a district. Below him, there are courts of civil jurisdiction, known in different states as munsifs, sub-judges, civil judges and the like. Similarly, criminal judiciary comprises chief judicial magistrate and judicial magistrates of first and second class. 36. Supreme Court .The Supreme Court has original, appellate and advisory jurisdiction.
Its exclusive original jurisdiction extends to all disputes between the Union and one or more states or between two or more states. The Constitution gives an extensive original jurisdiction to the Supreme Court to enforce Fundamental Rights. 37. Appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court can be invoked by a certificate of the
High Court concerned or by special leave granted by the Supreme Court in respect of any judgement, decree or final order of a High Court in cases both civil and criminal, involving substantial questions of law as to the interpretation of the constitution. The President may consult the Supreme Court on any question of fact or law of public importance. 38. The Supreme Court of India comprises of the Chief Justice and not more than 25
other Judges appointed by the President. Judges hold office till 65 years of age.
RESTRICTED 39. High Courts . There are 18 High Courts in the country, three having jurisdiction over more than one state. Bombay High Court has the jurisdiction over Maharashtra, Goa, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu. Guwahati High Court, which was earlier known as Assam High Court, has the jurisdiction over Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh. Punjab and Haryana High Court has the jurisdiction over Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh. 40. Among the Union Territories, Delhi alone has had a High Court of its own. The other
six Union Territories come under jurisdiction of different state High Courts. The Chief Justice of a High Court is appointed by the President in consultation with the Chief Justice of India and the Governor of the state. Each High Court has powers of superintendence over all courts within its jurisdiction. High Court judges retire at the age of 62. The jurisdiction as well as the laws administered by a High Court can be altered both by the Union and State Legislatures. Certain High Courts, like those at Bombay, Calcutta and Madras, have original and appellate jurisdictions. Under the original jurisdiction suits, where the subject matter is valued at Rs.25,000 or more, can be filed directly in the High Court. Most High Courts have only appellate jurisdiction. 41. Lok Adalat . Lok Adalats are voluntary agencies for resolution of disputes through conciliatory method.
RESTRICTED 42. Legislative Relations Between the Union and States. Under the Constitution, Parliament has the power to make laws for the whole of or any part of the territory of India. The State Legislatures have the power to make laws for the States. The subjects on which legislation can be enacted are specified in the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution. Parliament has the exclusive right to legislate in respect of items appearing in List I, called the "Union List''. This list includes area such as defense, foreign affairs, currency, income tax, excise duty, railways, shipping, posts and telegraphs, etc. State Legislatures have the exclusive power to make laws in relation to items appearing in List II called the "State List''. This includes items like public order, police, public health, communications, agriculture, lotteries, taxes on entertainment and wealth, sales tax etc. Both Parliament and the State Legislatures have the power to legislate in items appearing in List III of the Constitution which is known as "Concurrent List''. This list includes items like electricity, newspapers, criminal law, marriage and divorce, stamp duties, trade unions, price controls, etc.
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