Government claims no Indian pressure to hold Provincial Council polls

Dullas Alahapperuma

There are no hidden agendas or conditions set out by India to Sri Lanka when facilitating a recent credit line to pay off crude oil purchases, the Government insisted.

Responding to concerns of India laying conditions to hold Provincial Council (PC) Elections in Sri Lanka when granting a US$ 500 million credit line to pay for crude oil purchases, Cabinet Spokesman Dullas Alahapperuma yesterday (19) said there may be other conditions laid in order to obtain the credit line, but holding PC Elections at a given time period was not one of those.

Sri Lanka sought a credit line from India a few days after Energy Minister Udaya Gammanpila warned that the country’s current fuel supply can only be guaranteed until January 2022. When asked about the Government’s stance on PC elections during the weekly Cabinet media briefing, Alahapperuma claimed that the electoral system for the PC election needs to be modified and that it is certain that it will not take place this year.

“The current PC electoral system is a disaster and it contradicts its own requirements; we need a completely new voting system. However, we cannot predict how long it will take to implement the new system. It is certain that PC elections will take place only once the new voting system is implemented,” he said.

(Source: Ceylon Today – By Thameenah Razeek)