Gossip Lanka



President Mahinda Rajapaksa has issued a proclamation to the Elections Commissioner to conduct the Northern Provincial Council election, the Government Information Department reported.

On 14 November 1987 the Sri Lankan Parliament passed the 13th Amendment to the 1978 Constitution of Sri Lanka and the Provincial Councils Act No 42 of 1987, establishing provincial councils.


On September 2 and 8, 1988 President Jayewardene issued proclamations enabling the Northern and Eastern provinces to be one administrative unit administered by one elected Council. The North-East Province was born.

Elections were held to all the eight Provincial Councils for the first time in 1988. The elected North East Provincial Council (NEPC) was constituted on 5th December 1988. It had only a brief existence as it was dissolved in June 1990.

As election to the North East Provincial Council has not been held thereafter it continued to be administered under the direction of the Hon. Governor of the Northern and Eastern Provinces.

The proclamations were only meant to be a temporary measure until a referendum was held in the Eastern Province on a permanent merger between the two provinces. However, the referendum was never held and successive Sri Lankan presidents issued proclamations annually extending the life of the "temporary" entity.

The merger was bitterly opposed by Sri Lankan nationalists. The combined North-East Province occupied one fourth of Sri Lanka. The thought of the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam controlling this province, directly or indirectly, alarmed them greatly.

On 14 July 2006, after a long campaign against the merger, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna political party filed three separate petitions with the Supreme Court requesting a separate provincial council for the East.

On 16 October 2006 the Supreme Court ruled that the proclamations issued by President Jayewardene were null and void and had no legal effect. The North-East Province was formally de-merged into the Northern and Eastern provinces on 1 January 2007.

President appointed Rear Admiral Mohan Wijewickrama as the Acting Governor for the Northern Province with effect from December 22, 2006.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa last year vowed to conduct the long overdue provincial elections in the war-torn north in September.

The Elections Commissioner had stated that the polls for the Northern, North Western and Central Provincial Councils will most probably take place on September 21 or 28.