DSC 0081“It is the duty of the Local Government Institution to ensure the security of the population living in its area of authority. However the grassroots administrative structure should prevent any injustice to any ethnic group living in the ambit of its area. With the increase in population the structure of the local authorities change but this should in no way cause any injustice to any ethnic group. Our responsibility as politicians is to ensure that local Institutions should be established on correct scientific guidelines. That is why when every problem arises at the grassroots level discussions are held with the National level leadership to obtain decisions. Today we have summoned you to discuss the issues that have arisen in the Sainthamaruthu local area of authority in the Amparai district. Solutions to all problems should be arrived at in a transparent manner after discussions.  Today such a discussion is taking place.  We have invited all political parties to discuss the Sainthamaruthu issue.  Accordingly all have arrived for this discussion”.

The Minister expressed these views at a discussion held in the afternoon to discuss the issues of   Kalmunai Sainthamaruthu with Local Government politicians of the Eastern Province.  R, Sampanthan, M A Sumanthiran, A L M Athaula, and Assad Saly representing the Tamil National Alliance, Muslim Congress, National Unity Front, National Congress and a large number of political leaders participated at this meeting which was held in the Ministry Auditorium. Here the Minister went on to say as follows

“I have informed the Tamil National Alliance in writing that there is a request for a separate Pradeshiya Sabha. They have indicated their cordial agreement. However the population of Kalumunai have subsequently requested for the establishment a separate Pradeshiya Sabaha for Sainthamaruthu and 4 more local authorities. That is why on the instructions of the President and Prime Minister a discussion with the Tamil National Alliance and representatives of Muslim Political Parties of the Eastern provinces are having this discussion today. An agreement was reached by all parties for one Institution which had a Tamil Majority. The composition of this will be done by the Leader of the opposition Hon Sampanthan. We are expecting that an agreement will be reached by all Political Parties.DSC 0093

Therefore I think that this draft will be presented at the next meeting scheduled for the 22nd of this month. I am confident that with discussions between the Muslim Parties and Tamil National Alliance’s Mr. Sampanthan a solution will be arrived at.  Therefore I believe that if the Tamil Political Parties of the East, other political parties and Muslim parties cannot reach an agreement I will take action to set up a separate Local Government authority from the Kalmunai Municipal Council such as Sainthamaruthu or any other authority. “

There was a request from the Muslim Political Parties for a separate Pradeshiya Sabaha for Sainthamaruthu from the Kalumunai Municipal council in the Presidential elections of 2015. The President and Prime Minister had agreed on this matter and when Minister Faiszer Musthapha who became the Local Government Minister attempted to provide a Pradeshiya Sabha to the Sainthamaruthu area the Population of Kalmunai have protested against this move.

There are 45 Local Government Authorities in the Eastern province which has a large extent of land and comes 3rd place in the number of Local Government Institutions. There are 3 municipal councils, 5 urban councils, 37 Pradeshiya Sabahas The second largest number of Pradeshiya sabahas in the Island is from the Eastern Province.  Madakalapuwa District has 1 Municipal Council, 2 urban councils 9 Pradeshiya Sabahs, amounting to 12 Local Government Institutions. Trincomalle has 2 Urban Councils, and 11 Pradeshiya Sabahs totalling to 13 Institutions.  Ampara District with 20 Local Government Institutions has the largest amount in the Eastern Province comprising of   2 Municipal councils, 1 urban council and 17 Pradeshiya Sabhas. Finally explaining his position Minister Faiszer Musthapha stated

“The Kalmunai Municipal Council is performing its duties in a spirit of brotherhood with people of all ethnicities. Therefore if national unity is going to be lost  by establishing 4 pradeshiya sabahsa I will only permit it to happen without any hindrance to  the national unity in the area.

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