In 1987 a half baked devolution package prepared after four years of diplomatic manoeuvering by India as part of Indo-Lanka Accord. Notwithstanding the majority’s protest; was forced into the Sri Lankan Constitution that precipitated as the 13th Amendment.
This infamous amendment divided the country into nine Provincial Councils; the provincial councils of the North and the East were subsequently merged. The power devolved is contained in three lists. List I contains the powers the provinces would hold, List II specifies the powers retained by Parliament and List III, known as the ‘concurrent list’ hold the shared functions controlled by Parliament. The previous government attempted, to abolish the concurrent list in their proposed new constitution.
If they had the concurrent list abolished, all powers would have transferred to the provinces, making it impossible for the parliament to change it, not even with a two thirds majority. As to do so, the consent of each and every provincial unit would be needed. Thereafter, the parliament would not be able to legislate into law, national standards and national policies without the consent of the proposed second chamber of parliament. This second chamber would consist mostly of representatives of the provincial units.
Thus ‘One country one rule’ is feasible, only when the government incorporates into new constitution for Sri Lanka the 13th Amendment reinstated without the concurrent list and North-East provinces remerged and the 16th Amendment on use of Sinhala as the language of administration is confined to seven provinces of Sri Lanka other than the merged Northern and Eastern Provinces, where the official language shall be Tamil.
Thus devolved North-East limited as a subnational authority will function with Tamil as official language. While Sinhala will be the official language in rest of the country. Thus Sri Lanka as a state shall remain, de jure a unitary state.