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Sunil Bastian
Books

Devolution and Development in Sri Lanka

Devolution and Development in Sri Lanka(1994) Editor, Devolution and Development. New Delhi: Konark Publishers

Papers that constitute this monograph are products of research programme undertaken by the International Centre for Ethnic Studies in November 1989, to assess the performance of the newly established Provincial Council system of Sri Lanka. It covers the historical background of the centralization and decentralization process in Sri Lanka, examines the role that judiciary can play in resolving conflicts in a plural society, and analyses the complex relationship between regional autonomy and the structural adjustment development policies that have been followed.
This survey underlines the need to look into various aspects of the Sri Lankan society in order to understand the present exercise on devolution.
The Provincial Council system has been shown to be crucial for the processes of democratic institution building and to strengthen the constitutional foundation of a multi-ethnic polity.

The research points to the importance of arbitrating and mediating centre-provincial disputes with regard to finance, the scope of devolution, and procedures of decision making within the domain of concurrent subjects. Since the judiciary has tended to legitimize the erosion of authority of the Provincial councils, alternative processes are required for the resolution of such disputes keeping in mind the broader imperatives of national reconciliation.

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