Constitutionality questioned over WPC suspension

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 26 April 2005, 14:58 GMT]
The main opposition United National Party (UNP) said Tuesday that a provincial governor under 13th amendment to the constitution has no power to suspend the functions of a provincial council. Instead he has power to dissolve or extend the term of the council. "We are contemplating to move a no confidence motion on the Governor Mr Alavi Mowlana for his undemocratic action by suspending the WPC till May 17," said Mr.Lakshman Abeyaratne, UNP group leader.

Meanwhile, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), a constituent of the ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA), said that the Governor is empowered to suspend the functions of a provincial under the 13th amendment to the constitution.

"However we are only opposing Mr.Reginald Cooray continuing as the Chief Minister because of alleged irregularities in the council. We are not faulting the UPFA administration," said Mr.Warnakirthi Rajapakse of the JVP group.

Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), which also has four places in the WPC, endorsed the view that the Governor has no power to suspend the council. Mr.A.M.Anslem, SLMC councillor said the Governor has acted in contravention to the 13th amendment of the constitution.

Mr.Praba Ganesan, provincial councillor representing the Western Province Peoples Front (WPPF) also supported this view. The council has been suspended to avoid defeat in the no-confidence motion. However the no-confidence motion on the chief minister would be tabled when the sittings of the council resumes on May 17, he said.

 

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