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The current controversy over Provincial Councils can be easily resolved, if we accept the following basic principles –

  1. Provincial Councils should not be abolished, since the 13th amendment  establishes the right of people to take decisions in areas that affect them, while affirming the responsibility of the central government for national policy on all matters as well as security requirements for the nation as a whole.

  2. The current Provincial Council system does not sufficiently empower the people, and should be reformed, to ensure that politicians entrusted with responsibilities in the Province are more accountable, and responsive to people’s needs

  3. An appointed Governor is an anomaly given the need for responsive decision making, but a fully empowered Chief Minister who also controls the Provincial Council could exercise power without adequate responsibility to the people

  4. Waste and duplication of resources and responsible personnel should be avoided.

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Rajiva Wijesinha

March 2013
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