`Lankan provinces would be stripped of police, land powers`

Sri Lanka`s nine provincial councils would definitely be stripped of land and police powers, Prime Minister DM Jayaratne said.

Last Updated: Aug 02, 2013, 20:24 PM IST

Colombo: Sri Lanka`s nine provincial councils would definitely be stripped of land and police powers, Prime Minister DM Jayaratne said on Friday.

Speaking after the closure of nominations for the north, north western and central provincial councils ahead of the September 21 election, Jayaratne said "Provincial Councils would definitely be stripped of land and police powers".

The government in May contemplated a move to dilute the 13th amendment to the Constitution aimed at stripping the councils with powers to control land and police matters.

However, the move has been put on hold until the conclusion of the northern provincial council election.

Pressure mounted by India also a reason why the move was held back. India had made it clear to Colombo that dilution of 13A was unacceptable.

It was the Indian intervention in 1987 which led to the creation of the provincial council system.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa has come under pressure from his nationalist allies to dilute powers for the provinces stemming from fears that Tamil National Alliance would demand the separation of north.

PTI