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.