The United People’s Party (UPP) has called for the annulment of provincial councils although it is in full agreement on the devolution of powers within a unitary country.
The call by the UPP, led by minister Tiran Alles, came in a letter it has written to president Ranil Wickremesinghe detailing its response to what has transpired at the all-party conference on the 13th amendment to the constitution.
Signed by its propaganda secretary Chaminda Gunasinghe, the letter proposed decentralizing powers through a district council system as an intermediate mechanism between the central government and local government bodies.
In order to ensure a reasonable and fair power devolution within a unitary country, a new, populist constitution has to be introduced as well, it said.
The response has been made following a meeting of the UPP’s politburo.
It details seven key points on devolving powers within a unitary country, annulment of provincial councils, abolition of local bodies acts to give extensive powers to LG bodies, proposes a district council system, introduction of a new constitution, all government and semi-government institutions to adopt a bilingual policy and urges all parties to work for a developed economy by setting aside political opportunism.