The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) General Secretary, MP Dayasiri Jayasekara, announced the party’s commitment to support a process of devolution of power for development. Speaking at a media briefing held at the SLFP headquarters in Colombo, alongside former President Maithripala Sirisena, Jayasekara clarified that the party advocates devolution of power solely for developmental purposes and not based on territorial or racial considerations.
Jayasekara acknowledged the need for revisions to the current Provincial Council system, which has given rise to various issues, particularly in the areas of education and health due to power struggles between the Central Government and Provincial Councils. He stressed the importance of formal discussions on granting land and Police powers to the Provincial Councils, while admitting that there are challenges surrounding these matters.
At the All-Party Conference held on Wednesday, the implementation of the 13th Amendment and the provision of Police and land powers to provincial councils were extensively discussed. However, it was noted that the Government, particularly the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), lacked a clear and stable position on this issue.
The SLFP proposed the establishment of a “District Council” system as an alternative to Provincial Councils, but this suggestion did not find support from certain Tamil political parties or some parties in the South. Jayasekara emphasized the need to either reinforce the Provincial Council system and hold elections or consider abolishing it altogether. The party seeks a well-considered approach to ensure effective governance and development in the region.