|Jaffna Municipal Council polls soon|
|Monday, 01 September 2008|
(COLOMBO) In the wake of the Eastern, North Central and Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council elections, the government is now planning to hold elections to the Jaffna Municipal Council (MC) to gauge public opinion in the northern capital. Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) leader and Social Services Minister Douglas Devananda said Friday, the election would be conducted soon and the government was holding a series of discussions to work out the preliminaries.
“We will be able to conduct the elections before the end of this year. This is to test the waters in the peninsula,” Devananda who represents the Jaffna district as an MP said, adding this would be followed by elections to the Urban Councils and Pradeshiya Sabhas in the district. Elections to the Jaffna MC were last held in 1998 after the peninsula was liberated from the LTTE. The Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) headed by V. Anandasangaree won the elections at the time and took over the administration of the council. TULF member Sarojani Yogeswaran was elected Mayor but she was gunned down allegedly by the LTTE soon after her election to office.
Her successor K. Sivapalan also died in a bomb blast in September 1998 that targeted a Jaffna meeting between the councillors and security officials. He was succeeded by parliamentarian N. Raviraj.
EPRLF leader P. Sritharan said that he too had heard about government plans to hold elections. “We will definitely contest if there is an election,” he said. Meanwhile, defence officials on Friday decided to lift the daily curfew imposed in the northern Jaffna peninsula for the next four days. Media Centre for National security (MCNS) said the decision was taken due to the annual festival of the famous Nallur Kovil which began Friday evening in Jaffna and will end on Sunday.
According to the normal schedule the daily curfew is imposed in from 7:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. Separately, the 90 day programme for the restoration of civil administration in the Mannar district was discussed recently via teleconference facilities between officials of the Mannar District Secretariat and Public Administration and Home Affairs Ministry. Matters related to transport facilities, the supply of commodities including petrol, diesel and kerosene to the Mannar district were focused at the discussion.Speaking of the limited supply of fuel to the Mannar District, Divisional Secretary of Mannar District A. Nicholas Pillai pointed out that fishermen of the area have been facing more difficulties due to fuel being rationalised.
Public Administration and Home Affairs Minister Karu Jayasuriya has made arrangements to focus the problem to the attention of the Defence Secretary soon.Minister Jayasuriya also decided to take up the problems of fishermen that have arisen following restrictions imposed on fishing confined to the daytime, due to the current security situation. Restoration of health services, rehabilitation of roads, supply of electricity and drinking water facilities to the Mannar district also engaged the Minister's attention.
(Courtesy : Muslim Guardian )
|Last Updated ( Monday, 09 March 2009 )|
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