Milinda Moragoda, Founder of the Pathfinder Foundation and former Cabinet Minister, called on political parties to clearly state their positions on the Provincial Council system in their policy platforms during the forthcoming general elections.
Mr. Moragoda Urged the parties to consider repealing the 13th Amendment, thereby abolishing the Provincial Council system. He reiterated his earlier proposal that the Provincial Councils should be abolished and power be directly devolved to reconfigured local, Urban and Municipal councils, since these bodies operated closest to the citizenry, and were thus in a better position to address and solve problems on the community-level.
He argued, that although the original intention of the 13th Amendment enacted in 1987 was to create more provincial autonomy in order to help address Sri Lanka’s ethnic problem, instead this structure has proven to be superfluous, expensive, divisive, and fraught with inefficiency. He stated that given the increasing ethnic, religious and regional polarisation in the society, it was important that a viable democratic framework to address those issues be established, and that a much more effective way to achieve that intention, would be the creation of an empowered senate/upper house, that could address critical issues concerning religious, ethnic, and regional diversity.
“All nine Provincial Councils do not function at the moment since the dissolution after their termed ended,’ it is said.
- He stated that given the increasing ethnic, religious and regional polarisation in the society