Two Provincial Councils - the Sabaragamuwa and Southern -today passed resolutions in support of the government’s initial move to repeal two provisions of the 13th Amendment, enabling Parliament to legislate on subjects allocated to the provincial councils and preventing the scope for merger of two or more provincial councils.
The provincial councils were set up under the 13th Amendment.
The government, by repealing these provisions, seeks to enable Parliament to legislate on subjects included in the concurrent list only with the approval from majority of them, instead of approval from all of them as set out in the present constitution.
Accordingly, the Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council passed the resolution with a majority of 17 votes. The motion was taken up as an urgent matter by Chief Minister Mahipala Herath.
The main opposition United National Party (UNP) was opposed the resolution saying the provincial council system should be further strengthened.
Yet, in the Southern Provincial Council, it was passed by a narrow margin of only one vote. Six ruling party members voted against the resolution along with the opposition. Among them was Provincial Agriculture Minister Wijeya S. Weerasinghe.
The Central Provincial Council will take up resolution for a vote on June 28, whereas Northwestern Provincial Council will debate the issue tomorrow. (By Kelum Bandara, D.G. Sugathapala and Ajith Lal Shantha Udaya)