- Created on Wednesday, 11 July 2012 12:52
- Hits: 1399
Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa has told the Indian daily The Hindu that elections to the Northern Provincial Council will take just over a year from now. He has said that elections will be held in September 2013, and the government is working towards it in a systematic manner.
In an interaction at his official residence, Temple Trees, the President has told the Hindu correspondent R.K.Radhakrishnan that there are many issues to be resolved before holding of elections. He has said the primary one relates to the electoral lists, and has explained that people who fled when the Tamil Tigers were controlling the areas and during the war are still coming in and staking claim to their land and property after the defeat of the Tamil Tigers in May 2009. These people too have to be accommodated in the electoral lists.
The President has pointed out that the last electoral list prepared for the Province is more than 30 years old and has no relation to the current eligible voters in the province.
The second issue, the President has pointed out is the completion of the rehabilitation and resettlement process. This is proceeding with international support and is expected to be completed soon and livelihood issues too are being addressed, he has said.
The President has also said that he has instructed the Army to be visible only when required.
He has refused to accept that the Indian vote against Sri Lanka in the United Nations Human Rights Council was due to his government not implementing the promises it made to the Council in 2009. The President has insisted that he has delivered all the promises that were given.
When asked about the '13 plus', the President's pledge to seek a solution to the ethnic issue beyond the 13th Amendment, the President has clarified that the '13 plus' refers to creation of a senate which will act as an advisory body to the legislature.
The President has made it clear that the creation of a Senate and the formulation of a solution have to come from Parliament and that’s where the Parliamentary Select Committee is important. (niz+)