Inaugural session of Eastern PC tomorrow

By Franklin R. Satyapalan

The maiden sessions of the newly-elected Eastern Provincial Council (EPC) will be inaugurated under the leadership of the Chief Minister Najeeb A. Majeed at the auspicious time of 11.05 am tomorrow (1), Senior Information Secretary to the CM Ahamed Kabeer said yesterday.

Governor of the Eastern Provincial Council Vice Admiral Mohan Wijewickrema is scheduled to presided over the day’s activities during the inaugural sessions, Council sources said

Speaking to The Sunday Island yesterday, Majeed said he would give priority to uplift educational and health standards of the people living in the eastern Province.

"I want to primarily promote the development of tourism, agriculture, fisheries and livestock development to improve the livelihoods of all communities in the province", he said.

The 11 elected members of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) met at the Trincomalee Urban Council (UC) auditorium on Friday presided by Parliamentary Group leader R. Sambandhan, where they took their oaths before TNA parliamentarian, attorney-at-law M. A. Sumanthiran.

Subsequently, Singaravelu Thandauthapani, the leader of the TNA Group elected from the Trincomalee district who polled the highest number of preference votes was nominated leader of the opposition of the EPC, Sumanthiran said.

Mrs Aryawathi Galappathy from the Trincomalee district has been nominated by the UPFA as the Chairman of the EPC and M. S. Subair, the former Provincial Minister of Health from Eravur as the deputy, party sources said.

General Secretary of the SLMC Parliamentarian M. T. Hassen Ali said the party had nominated M. I. M. Mansoor of Sammanthurai for the Health portfolio and Nazer Ahamed from Eravur to handle Agriculture.

The two SLMC Provincial Councilors, A. M. Jameel and R. M. Anver who were not present when other members took their oaths before President Mahinda Rajapaksa were sworn in at Temple Trees on Friday in the presence of General Secretary M.T.Hassen Ali, MP, Governor Mohan Wijewickrema and Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga.

With UNP General Secretary MP Tissa Attanayake away from the country when the UNP National Organizer and Leader of the four elected Provincial Councilors of the UNP to the Eastern Provincial Council Daya Gamage were contacted he said yesterday that the four UNP members were scheduled to be sworn in before Governor of the Eastern Province on Monday.

Eastern Provincial Council sources said that former SLFP Provincial Minister from the Ampara district, Wimalaweera Dissanayake and former National Congress Provincial Minister from Akkaraipattu, Uthuma Lebe are expected to be appointed Education and Transport, Highways and Irrigation, respectively, the same portfolios they held earlier.

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