Dissolve PCs into District Councils: State Minister

State Minister of Foreign Affairs Vasantha Senanayake, has written to the President, Prime Minister and Parliament, suggesting that provincial councils be replaced in favour of more regional District Councils.

At a press briefing held at the Ministry of State Affairs on Friday, State Minister Senanayake said that his proposal seeks to address “the shortfalls of the provincial council as it exists today and the injustices the provincial council system causes.” He cited the unfair weight given to larger districts within the scope of Provincial Councils.

In his letter, Senanayake mentioned the political disparity between his home district of Polonnaruwa as compared to Anuradhapura, as well as the Northern district of Wanni, compared to the Jaffna District. The Minister said that under the Provincial Council system, Polonnaruwa and the Wanni are disadvantaged both politically and economically.

He further writes, “I have realized thus that our rural communities do not really benefit from devolution, for the Provincial Council system as we have it privileges the larger towns and urban populations. Meanwhile, the politicians involved see themselves as national politicians one level down and perform accordingly, instead of concentrating on local needs.”\

“I think it is time we discuss that Provincial Councils are not serving the use that we originally intended that we serve,” said Senanayake at the press briefing. “So why are we spending the taxpayers money funding a Provincial Council that is useless?” The Minister pointed to the fact that the Tamil National Alliance was willing to postpone Provincial Council elections almost indefinitely, though they were the group championing the Provincial Council system in the first place.

 

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