Six provincial councils go for poll, JHU stays out
[TamilNet, Saturday, 29 May 2004, 12:14 GMT]
Elections to six Sinhalese dominated provincial councils, Southern, Western, Sabragamuwa, Uva, Central and North Central will be held on July 10th Saturday. About 3200 candidates are in the fray, Elections Commissioner Mr.Dayananda Dissanayake said.
Twenty-six registered political parties including ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA), the main opposition United National Front (UNP) and six independent groups are fielding their candidates.
Acceptance of nominations concluded Friday noon in district secretariats of the six provinces, sources said.
However, the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) did not contest the provincial council election. JHU leader Venerable Dhammaloka Thera said that provincial council system was introduced in the country to appease the power hungry politicians and not to resolve ethnic crisis.
“We demand that that the Sri Lanka government should scrap the PC system as it is considered a white elephant,” said Venerable Dhammaloka Thera.
The PC system was introduced in 1987 under the Indo-Sri Lanka peace pact signed by then Sri Lanka President J.R.Jayawardene and then Indian Prime Minister Mr. Rajiv Gandhi in an attempt to resolve the ethnic conflict through devolution of power at regional level. However the elected Tamil dominated North East Provincial Council was dissolved in 1989 by the then President R.Premadasa. Since then the NEPC is being administered by the central government. Ironically Sinhalese enjoy the devolution power in their provinces under the PC system, sources said.