Abolish Provincial Council System says Milinda Moragoda
Wants Political Parties to State their Position
The 13th Amendment should be repealed paving the way for the abolishment of Provincial Councils, argues former Cabinet Minister and Founder of the Pathfinder Foundation, Milinda Moragoda.
Issuing a statement, Mr. Moragoda points out that the 13th Amendment, originally introduced with a view to creating more provincial autonomy and addressing the country’s ethnic problem, has instead proven to be more ‘superfluous, expensive, divisive, and fraught with inefficiency.’ He is proposing that a more viable democratic framework, namely an ‘empowered senate/upper house, that could address critical issues concerning religious, ethnic, and regional diversity,” be established to deal with the increased poliarisation of society based along the aforementioned lines.
Mr. Moragoda is also reiterating his previous call for directly devolving power and empowering and reconfiguring local, urban and municipal councils, “since these bodies operate closest to the citizenry, and are thus in a better position to address and solve community-level problems.’
In this context, Mr. Moragoda is also calling on all political parties to state their positions clearly regarding the Provincial Council system, on their policy platforms at the forthcoming parliamentary elections.
The Provincial Council system, states Mr. Moragoda, “..costs Sri Lanka over 250 billion rupees annually and there is little doubt that significant savings and improved efficiency can be achieved through the abolition of this dysfunctional mechanism.”
In his statement, he also points out that the nine provincial councils in Sri Lanka have been dissolved, and have not been functioning, many for almost two years. ‘The population at large would be able to judge as to whether they have missed their presence during this period,’ he adds.
Shown below are the dates on which each of the nine provincial councils was dissolved.
Sabaragamuwa Province: 26 September 2018
Eastern Province: 30 September 2018
North Central Province: 01 October 2018
Central Province: 08 October 2018
Northwestern Province: 10 October 2018
Northern Province: 25 October 2018
Southern Province: 10 April 2019
Western Province: 21 April 2019
Uva Province: 08 September 2019