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SLPP councillors clash for Chilaw PS chair

The two councillors who forcibly hoisted the national flag. Picture by Prasad Purnamal

A tense situation erupted in Chilaw when two councillors of the Chilaw Pradeshiya Sabha representing the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) arrived at the Pradeshiya Sabha to assume office yesterday. The SLPP secured power in the Chilaw Pradeshiya Sabha and had appointed Sarath De Silva as the chairman and Eric Samson as the vice chairman.

However, Sunil Paaris and Janitha Devapriya who had obtained the highest percentage in terms of preferential votes at the recently concluded Local Government election had arrived at the Pradeshiya Sabha premises before the new chairman’s arrival and assumed duties by hoisting the national flag.

Sunil Paaris forcibly entered the PS Chairman’s room and attempted to place a note on the Log book when police entered the scene.Police officials told him to leave the chairman’s office to pave the way for the new chairman Sarath De Silva to assume duties.

a tense situation emerged as Sarath Silva arrived at the Pradeshiya Sabha and Madampe Police was compelled to call in additional police officials to control the situation.

Afterwards, the duly elected chairman of the Podujana Peramuna had rehoisted the national flag again. The ceremony had taken more than one and half hours and the supporters of Sunil Paaris protested creating an ugly scene.

“We are protesting because the party did not appoint the candidates who secured the highest per centage of preferential votes at the elections. They appointed candidates with low percentage in terms of preferential votes as the chairman.\The SLFP and UNP candidates did not attend this ceremony to support us.The leaders of the party should rectify this issue soon,” said Sunil Paaris.

The chairman of the council Sarath Silva stated that he condemns the actions of a few and he will serve the people to the best of his abilities.

“The party had done a mistake when electing the chairman of the Pradeshiya Sabha and discussions will be conducted to solve this issue,” said former minister Piyankara Jayaratne.

“This issue has emerged as a result of the new electoral system. A discussion will be held with the leaders of the party and the candidates,” Puttalam District MP Arundika Fernando said.