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Govt. educating people on devolution

Minister of Construction and Engineering Services Rajitha Senaratne told The Island yesterday that the government had already commenced an island-wide programme to educate the general public on the devolution of power under the 13th Amendment.

The international community was watching the Sabaragamuwa and North-Central Provincial Council elections on August 23. It was the objective of the government to portray a clear picture to the international community and Sri Lankans of the need for the successful implementation of the 13th Amendment.

He said that a Special Development Task Force had been appointed to look into the administrative affairs of the Eastern Province Provincial Council and an Advisory Committee to the Provincial Council had been appointed by President Rajapaksa under the provisions of the 13th Amendment.

Minister Senaratne said that if the government had protected the rights of the Tamil community Prabakaran’s brutal terrorism would have been defeated. The assassination of Vijaya Kumaratunge was the starting point of violent opposition to the provincial council system. Then those who were trying to contest provincial council elections had been killed, but some politicians were able to escape the assailants.

He said that some political organizations had put up posters on walls that the provincial council system was an Eelam. When the UNP Democratic Group joined the UPFA government, the SLFP had a proposal to establish the district devolution unit but the UNP Democratic Group was able to convince President Rajapaksa that the best system was the provincial councils and not district committees. President Rajapaksa had agreed to our proposal.

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