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Several SLPPers against LG polls despite having funds

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A group of Pradeshiya Sabha and Municipal Council members representing the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) have requested the President to postpone the proposed Local Government election by a few months.

It was reported that 47 heads of local government bodies from the SLPP met the President last Wednesday and made this request.

They have said that it is difficult for the people to face an election under the current economic situation, and for the government as well as themselves to incur large expenses for the election.

The President who has responded to their request has said that the relevant authorities will take a decision on the election after considering the current economic situation.

Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, SLPP General Secretary Sagara Kariyawasam and Local Government State Minister Janaka Wakkambura have also attended the meeting.

Enough funds available…

Meanwhile, Elections Commissioner General Saman Sri Ratnayake said the Finance Ministry has allocated funds for the LG elections.

Accordingly, the Elections Commissioner General said that Rs.10 billion have been allocated for the election to be held next year (2023).

He said the LG elections were scheduled to be held this year (2022) and accordingly the related estimates have been sent to the Finance Ministry in advance.

He told the media that Rs.5.8 billion were spent on the previous parliamentary election.

The Election Commission said that the LG elections should be held before March 19 next year and the list of LG members should be gazetted in relation to 341 LG bodies.

The Commissioner General also said that according to the Local Government Elections Act No. 16 of 2017, the members will be gazetted at the divisional level and under the mixed proportional representation system.

Mr.Ratnayake said that it usually takes about 60 to 65 days to conduct an election and therefore, the Commission has decided to send the final notification about the nomination date in the last week of this month.

He pointed out that the Election Commission has the full authority to announce the local government election.

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Police in civvies prohibited from stopping vehicles

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Acting IGP Deshabandu Tennakoon issued orders to all Police stations islandwide, prohibiting Police officers in civilian clothes from stopping vehicles.

The order was issued in the backdrop of the death of a carpenter due to Police firing in Narammala.

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Ranjith Bandara named as COPE Chairman behind harassment incident

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Opposition MP Hesha Withanage has stated it had been the present chairman of the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) – Professor Ranjith Bandara, who had sexually assaulted a female COPE officer.

The allegations levelled at a COPE chairman (previously unnamed) had rocked parliament last week.

MP Hesha had named Prof. Bandara in Parliament last Friday (18) after MP Charitha Herath had urged to reveal the name, claiming that such allegations also put him in an embarrassing light as a previous Chairman of COPE.(Source : Divaina)

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Heavy traffic in Colombo

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Heavy traffic was reported on several roads in Colombo due to adverse weather conditions.

Meanwhile, the Department of Meteorology said that rain or thundershowers may occur in many parts of the country today (17) after 2.00 pm.

The department said that some places in Uva, Sabaragamuwa and Central Provinces will receive heavy rains of more than 100 mm.

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