Flags of the Nine Provinces. Most Provincial Councils were dissolved at least two years ago.(flags courtesy Wikepedia

The 13th Amendment should be repealed paving the way for the abolishment of Provincial Councils, argues former Cabinet Minister and Founder of the Pathfinder Foundation, Milinda Moragoda.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.

            Milinda Moragoda
                                                                                                                                     Milinda Moragoda

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



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