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CaFFE urges governors to prevent misuse of property of provincial councils

Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Friday, 6 October 2017 00:00



Election monitor the Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) has urged Governors and secretaries to act and prevent the misuse of vehicles and other assets belonging to provincial councils that have been placed under the governor’s control.

CaFFE says in the North Central, Sabaragamuwa and Eastern provincial councils, more than 32 vehicles have been taken by former Chief Ministers, Ministers, Opposition Leaders and their staff.

Furthermore, they have not returned many other items belonging to the provincial councils.

According to the election monitor, it has been observed that during the past few days these resources were being used continuously for political purposes.

A number of vehicles belonging to the North Central Provincial Council have been used for a series of meetings held in Anuradhapura on 2 October, CaFFE revealed. Further, the former politicians of the provincial council had participated in a meeting held at the provincial council auditorium.

The NGO said it has complained to the Governor of the North Central Province.

After handing over the governance of the provincial councils to the governor following the end of the term, the use of public resources by the former council members for political purposes is abuse of public property, CaFFE points out.

According to CAFFE, those who engage in such an action as well as those who support and facilitate it, should be punished according to the law.

The NGO said it is regrettable that the majority of the former members of the North Central Provincial Council have not still realised the seriousness and repercussions of such an act.

The election monitor says it is the responsibility of the Governor and the Chief Secretary of the provincial council to prevent the misuse of public property in the event the PC is placed under the control of the Governor.

Writing to the governors and chief secretaries of the Sabaragamuwa, North Central and Eastern provinces, CaFFE has stated that the governors and secretaries should act to prevent the reoccurrence of the unpleasant situation which has arisen between civil organisations and state officials including Lalith Weeratunga, Anusha Palpita and other Government officials during the previous regime.

Kodituwakku files FR case against Provincial Council Bill 


By S.S.Selvanayagam

A public interest litigation lawyer filed fundamental rights violation petition in the Supreme Court impugning that the process adopted by the Speaker in the enactment of Provincial Council (Amendment) Bill is absolutely illegal and amounts to complete disregard to the trust placed in him by the people.

Petitioner Nagananda Kodituwakku in his petition cited Attorney General Jayantha Jayasuriya, the Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, Minister of Provincial Councils Faiszer Musthapaha, Chairman and the members of the Election Commission as Respondents.

He states a Bill titled ‘Twentieth Amendment to the Constitution was published in the Gazette dated 28th July 2017 concerning the election of the Provincial Councils to be held on the same dates.

The said Bill was challenged in the Supreme Court and that the Court held the certain provisions of the said Bill was inconsistent with the Constitution and therefore require it approval by the people at Referendum and a certification endorsed by the Executive President, he states. The government opted not to seek a mandate from the people instead abandoned the said Bill but thereafter relied on another Bill which was already on the Order Paper titled “Provincial Council Elections (Amendment) Bill wherein the statement of the legal effect of the said Bill was to include not less than 30 per cent of the female candidates in the nomination papers, he states.

He claims the said Bill was not challenged as it did not contain any provision that would affect any of the entrenched provisions in the Constitution.

Upon the completion of the 2nd Reading of the said Bill, it was passed by 2/3 majority and this is duly recorded in the Hansard, he states. He laments that at the 3rd Reading, the Original Bill passed at the 2nd reading has been totally disregarded with a completely new set of provisions ‘smuggled in’ at the Committee Stage.

He bemoans this alleged wrongful act amounts to total disregard of the lawmaking process and negation of the Rule of Law and the Parliamentary Standing Orders. He alleged the duty performed by Attorney General and the Speaker in the process of enactment of the said Bill is a complete disregard of the Constitution, Rule of Law and amounts to betrayal of the trust placed in them by the people. He underscores that the Speaker’s certificate made under Article 80 of the Constitution always subject to a blanket ban imposed on him on his authority by the said Article79.




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