A key nationalist ally of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa is planning legislative action for the abolition of the country's provincial councils while opposing local elections in the Tamil-dominated north.
Udaya Gammanpila the deputy secretary of JHU (Heritage Party) said his party's policy making central committee last night decided to move a parliamentary act within the next two weeks to abolish the thirteenth amendment (13A) to the Sri Lankan constitution.
"We shall move parliament within the next two weeks to abolish the thirteenth amendment," Gammanpila said.
The 13A and the provincial councils entered Sri Lanka's statutes in 1987 as part of the India-Sri Lanka Peace Accord which envisaged devolution of powers to the island's provinces in an effort to end the Sri Lankan Civil War involving the LTTE and government forces.
Rajapaksa's nationalist allies have in the recent weeks stepped up their campaign to scrap the provincial councils in view of statements made by the President that he intends holding the northern provincial council election by September.
"We have warned the government that holding of the northern election would leave room for the creation of a Tamil Eelam (a separate Tamil state). What the LTTE failed to do by fighting we seem to allow through the ballot," Gammanpila stressed.
Holding the northern election has been seen by the international community as imperative to achieve reconciliation with the Tamil minority.
The nationalists warn that the main Tamil party, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) would win control of the council and move towards a separate Tamil state.