Northern polls should be held early - D.E.W. Gunasekara
Senior Minister for Human Resources D.E.W. Gunasekara said that
Provincial Council elections in the Northern Province had been long
delayed and should be held as early as possible.
Commenting on the controversial issue of police powers to the
Provincial Councils, the Minister said police powers should not be given
to the Chief Ministers of the North, East or any other province as they
would abuse them. Police powers and other issues should be thrashed out
Police powers have been on the statute book for 25 years. Until the
other problems are sorted out, let it be in the statute book, the
Minister told the Sunday Observer yesterday.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa has proposed that a Parliamentary Select
Committee be appointed to discuss these issues. The UNP has expressed
its willingness to participate in the Select Committee. The TNA should
also make its representations so that all political parties in
Parliament, can sit together and decide on it.
This can not be tackled by the Government alone. All political
parties should get together and solve this once and for all. History has
shown us that a Government or single party alone cannot solve this
problem, he said. The Minister said that people in the Northern province
had been denied the benefits of development due to the terrorist war.
Four years have elapsed since terrorism was defeated.
Therefore, elections should not be further delayed as this right is
being enjoyed by people in the Southern, Western and other provinces
since 1988. The other issues should be tackled separately, he said.