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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2736

Lanka Supreme Court OKs elections for Eastern Province

By Joseph Thavaraja

Colombo, 19 July, (Asiantribune.com): The Supreme Court of Sri Lanka gave its green light today to the government of Sri Lanka to hold elections in eastern province while President Mahinda Rajapakse led a state ceremony in Colombo to honor the capture of Eastern Province.

The ceremony was boycotted by the main opposition parties UNP and JVP. Sources also revealed that US Ambassador of Sri Lanka and the Ambassadors of the European Union countries and the Indian High Commissioner too did not take part in the celebrations.

The SC today said that the draft for the local government elections for the Eastern Province forwarded to the Supreme Court by the President, is"not unconstitutional." The draft was sent to the Supreme Court to clear legal obstructions for an election in the Eastern Province.

The speaker of the parliament was informed by the supreme court that the draft did not contain any provisions that contravened the constitution. As a result, the government can now hold elections in the Pradeshiya Sabhas and Municpal Councils in the Eastern Province "anytime."

Janaka Bandara Tennakoon, Minister of Local Government and Provincial Councils forwarding the draft bill for debate in Parliament today defended the draft ""This Act has no discriminatory provisions against any people in the East."

Earlier this week, the government's chief organizer in Parliament, Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, told media that the government would be ready to debate the Draft Act in Parliament.

The government aims "to give a chance to political groups to contest the elections in the changed context."

The Provincial Council elections for the separated Eastern Province will follow the local government elections. Elections were held for all local governmental bodies except eight in the Eastern Province last year.

- Asian Tribune -

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