Friday, April 17, 2009

Abolishing the Provincial Councils

Yet another Provincial Council election is underway, the streets are littered with election propaganda and I think its time to ask ourselves: what purpose do these councils serve?

They were brought about by the 13th amendment to the constitution in 1987 as part of the Indian imposed peace agreement. The idea was to devolve power to the provinces as a permanent solution to the war.

It has patently failed to achieve it prime objective, so is there any purpose in continuing with this futile exercise? Why it failed is a question that can be looked at separately, perhaps there was no real devolution, perhaps that was not the solution needed, maybe there were other reasons, but failed it has, which means we must return to the question: why persist with the exercise?

What does the Provincial Council DO? I'm not very sure to be honest. Will someone please enlighten me? To the best of my knowledge they perform some of the functions previously carried out by the Municipal Councils. Have services improved to the population in the provinces? Certainly not.

What purpose does the PC serve? Its a money making machine for the politicians. I had a friend who had a friend who was contesting for a certain PC. He had told my friend that the target for a PC Chairman was to earn Rs.30m over a five year period. This was earned by granting building permits, water and electricity connections and other types of permits and supplemented by commissions from any other projects undertaken.

This discussion took place a couple of years ago so by now the target has probably increased. Its not a bad life for a small time politician and its time we stop paying for someone else's lifestyle, in return for zero benefits.

The Indian imposed peace of 1987 is viewed with abhorrence by the present regime, lets capitalise on this and get that blasted 13th amendment repealed.


Cricket Tragic said...

PCs are truly a waste of public money and a great way for the common person without any sense of moral ethics to use public property for private use!

Liberal Lanka said...

Can agree with many of your points. As I see
1) Lack of creative people at PC's
2) Lack of money allocation

are the main reasons for the failure of PC's. Shiral Lakthilaka recently revealed that 78% of expenditure of PC's is for maintaining those PC's.

yep, either revamp the PC's or abolish them.

Sam said...

Having more politicians, under every coconut tree and jackfruit tree, meant to be a solution to a problem created by regional politicians in the first place. Utter waste of public money, increase of corruption in number of folds.

Anonymous said...

The real absurdity is that the PC mechanism is being touted as the answer to calls for limited devolution of power to Tamil areas. Indeed, that issue precipitated them...yet they've proven to be utterly ineffective and nothing better is being proposed.