Bill in Parliament soon for Eastern polls
COLOMBO: The Government will present a Bill in Parliament next week
to facilitate the holding of Local Government elections in the Eastern
Province which came under the full control of the Security Forces on
Chief Government Whip Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle told the media
yesterday that the Bill seeks to cancel the nominations already
submitted for Local Government polls in the province and call for fresh
“The draft legislation has been sent to the Supreme Court to be
examined for its constitutionality. We expect to receive its
determination by Tuesday and hope to place it before the House and get
it passed on the same day,” he said.
Once the Bill is passed, elections will be held for every Urban
Council and Pradeshiya Sabha in the province where polls were not held.
Fernandopulle said the Government’s intention was to enable the
people of the East to exercise their political powers which they were
long deprived of.
“The President is also considering holding a separate Provincial
Council Election for the Eastern province in line with the Supreme Court
ruling on the North and the East merger. It will be held after or at the
latter part of the Local Government poll if necessary,” he added. The
Government has commenced a movement from the East to win the hearts of
the people, he announced.
The Government will take immediate measures to develop the road
network and provide water and electricity to the liberated areas in
Thoppigala, Nation Building Minister Susantha Punchinilame told the
Government’s weekly press briefing held at Information Department
He said: “Thoppigala possesses a series of geographical patterns.
However, the LTTE has laid lot of landmines in Thoppigala area. Before
resettling the people, the Government has to clear all these landmines
because the UNHCR should give an assurance that all landmines have been
cleared to resettle the people.”
He said the Government intends to develop Thoppigala as a model. The
Government is also exploring the possibility of establishing a Military
Training Centre at Thoppigala.