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Thursday, 27 June 2013

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Southern PC passes motion on 13 A

An emergency motion tabled by Southern Province Chief Minister Shan Wijayalal de Silva with regard to the statutory provisions pertaining to the merger of provincial councils and matters set out in the Provincial Council List of the Provincial Council Act promulgated under the 13th Amendment Bill was passed with a majority of one vote at the council meeting at the council auditorium at Kalegana, Galle, on Tuesday.

The motion was seconded by ruling party Chief Whip Justin Galappatti. Chairman Somawansa Kodagoda presided the meeting.

The resolution proposed that no provision allowing two or three Provincial Councils to be merged as one administrative unit should be given place in the constitution and the constitutional requirement of obtaining the approval of all Provincial Councils in the event of the centre needs to pass any resolution regarding the matters containing in the Provincial Council List should be altered and it should be amended as “the approval of the majority of Provincial councils” instead of the legal phrase of “the approval of all Provincial Councils” The UNP Councillors led by Opposition Leader Siri Wijewickrama were critical over the emergency resolution and walked out of the council chamber boycotting the debate on it. Although the three JVP councillors too expressed their displeasure over the proposal, they did not follow the UNP members and remained in the chamber.

JVP Councillor Nalin Hewage disclosing his party’s position regarding the Provincial Council system said that they were not with partial alteration of the 13th Amendment. He said they had been demanding the abolition of the entire system of Provincial government since its beginning. Provincial Ministers Chandima Rasputra spoke in favour of the move while Councilors Nalin Hewage (JVP) and Weerasumana Weerasinghe talked in opposition. Provincial minister U.G.D Ariayathilake too criticized the motion though he voted in favour of it.

The Council Chairman took the votes on the resolution by calling the names of the council members.

Twenty two members voted for the motion while 21 opposed it. As the ruling party members were given an opportunity to vote according to their conscious, six UPFA members, including a provincial minister joined the opposition in the vote.

 

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