Government gives opposition ultimatum over package
[TamilNet, Thursday, 08 January 1998, 23:59 GMT]
The PA government will implement its devolution package before June when the provincial council elections are due said Prof. G.L Pieris, deputy minister for finance and minister for constitutional affairs at the weekly cabinet press briefing this morning.
He said that PA government will wait for the UNP's position on devolution only until the end of this month and if the main opposition party does not come up with a proposal by then, it (the government) would go ahead with it plan to implement the devolution package on its own.
The Minister said that the government had no legal grounds to postpone the provincial council elections which are due in June.
The government's position is that it is not necessary to elect provincial councils into power at this juncture as the regional councils envisaged in its devolution package are meant to replace the P.Cs which were implemented under the Indo-Lanka treaty in 1987.
The PA says that it will hold a non-binding referendum instead of the provincial council elections to implement its devolution package through an extra-constitutional procedure.