Sri Lanka’s decision to indefinitely postpone Provincial Council (PC) elections controversially was made due to sustained pressure from Sinhala Nationalist organisations who argue that the government had pledged to do away with the PCs during the election campaign.
On Tuesday(29th), Environment Minister Mahinda Amaraweera told reporters the leaders of the political parties in the governing Sri Lanka Nidahas Podujana Peramuna had decided to put off the polls due to the pandemic and also on “a request made by the Maha Sangha.”
A representative of the Collective, Dr Malwane Chandrarathana Thero told reporters that the PCs which were “forced on us by India as a solution for the separatist movements” had not succeeded in that endeavour.
He added that the government has promised to formulate a new constitution within a year of coming to power which would offer an alternative means of devolving power. “We are waiting to see what the government’s policy on this issue is,” the Thero who heads the Sinhala Department at the Kelaniya University said.
The Anunayake of the Malwatte Chapter Dimbulkumbure Wimaladhamma Thero said that this was a time to deal with the health crisis and not waste public funds on elections. “The people are in need of relief,” he said.
The Registrar of the Asgiriya Chapter Dr Medagama Dhammananda agreed, saying that all efforts should be made to repair the damage done to society by the pandemic. Both prelates signed off on the letter brought by the collective carrying their demands which was then handed over to the government, media reported.