UPFA and UNP mayoral candidates pledge to develop Anuradhapura
UPFA mayoral candidate H. P. Somadasa
UNP mayoral candidate Indika Anura Kumara
Local Government elections play a pivotal role in democracy as it
helps elect representatives for local communities. It provides an
opportunity for people to contribute to their communities. The last
Local Government polls were held in 2006 in 288 of the 330 local
authorities. Elections were held in nine local authorities in the
Batticaloa district in 2008 and for two Local Government Authorities in
the Northern Province in 2009.
The normal term of a local authority is four years but the law allows
the Central Government to extend this by a further year. The term of 286
local authorities (16 Municipal Councils, 36 Urban Councils and 234
Pradeshiya Sabhas) was due to expire in 2010 but on 22 December 2009,
the Minister of Local Government and Provincial Councils Janaka Bandara
Tennakoon extended it until March 31, 2011. On January 6, 2010 Local
Government and Provincial Councils Minister A.L.M. Athaullah, dissolved
263 local authorities (34 Urban Councils and 229 Pradeshiya Sabhas).
Elections were also called in five newly created local authorities (2
Municipal Councils and 3 Pradeshiya Sabhas).
In addition, elections were called in 31 local authorities (4 Urban
Councils and 27 Pradeshiya Sabas.
Due to the conflict the elected bodies were not functioning. On
January 18, 2011 the Government announced that the term of 23 local
authorities in Anuradhapura, Badulla, Colombo, Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia,
Galle, Gampaha, Kalmunai, Kandy, Kurunegala, Matale, Matara, Moratuwa,
Negombo, Nuwara Eliya, Ratnapura and Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte Municipal
Councils and Hambantota and Kolonnawa Urban Councils Hambantota,
Kotikawatte-Mulleriyawa, Kundasale and Sooriyawewa Pradeshiya Sabhas
were extended until June 30, 2011 under the Emergency Regulations. On 30
March 2011 the Government announced that the term of 23 local
authorities have been extended further until December 31, 2011. On
August 25, 2011 the Department of Elections announced that elections to
23 local authorities will be held on October 8, 2011.
Six political parties under their registered symbols and three
independent groups are contesting the Anuradhapura Municipal Council.
The United People's Freedom Alliance UPFA will contest under the betel
leaf, the United National Party (UNP) - Elephant, the Eksath Lanka Maha
Saba Fountain - pen, the People's Liberation Front - Bell, Jana Setha
Peramuna - Tractor and the Democratic Left Front will contest under the
The Independent Group-1 will contest under the sword symbol, Group-2
- pair of spectacles and Group - 3 - cart.
The election campaigns for the Anuradhapura Municipal Council are
peaceful after the submission of nominations at the Anuradhapura
District Secretariat. Candidates are engaged in door-to-door campaigns
throughout the Municipal area. H. P. Somadasa will contest for the post
of Mayor from the UPFA and Indika Anura Kumara from the UNP and Anura
Dissanayake from the People's Liberation Front.
Candidates promise a host of benefits if they are elected.
Sunday Observer spoke to UPFA Mayoral Candidate H. P. Somadasa who
predicted a landslide victory at the forthcoming elections.
"The Government has implemented mega livelihood and infrastructure
development projects in the Anuradhapura Municipality area", Somadasa
He said that there are over 200,000 people in the Anuradhapura
Municipal Council area and there are 32,972 voters and over 5,000 are
low income earners.
He said that he will work for the welfare of the people in the event
he is elected.
Somadasa said that there are families in the Malwathu-Oya area
without permanent houses. Moves are under way to construct permanent
houses for the people shortly. Sanitation facilities in certain areas of
the city are poor.
He said that plans are afoot to set up an advisory committee
comprising religious prelates and intellectuals in the area to regulate
the public service. All development and social service activities will
be carried out on their recommendations. This will help to provide a
better service to the public.
The main roads in the Anuradhapura city were carpeted with funds
provided by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Under the "Jathika Saviya" and
"Maga Neguma" projects a 30-km stretch road in the city was developed.
The Matale Junction, Pullayar Junction, Bandara, Bulathkulama,
Walawwatta, Ramakele roads were renovated and roads were concreted,
Moves are in place to carpet the remaining main roads in the
Anuradhapura city, according to Somadasa. The main canals in the city
will be dredged and developed to prevent the city from flooding during
the rainy seasons.
Implementing a waste management project in the city and providing
scholarships to the school children in the city are some of the pledges
made by him.
Somadasa said that the roads in the Anuradhapura Municipality area
will be illuminated using solar power. The Koombichchankulam area will
be developed as a recreational park.
The United National Party Mayoral Candidate Indika Anura Kumara said
that all party supporters should cast their votes for the party and not
for any individual's victory.
It is high time that UNPers unite to protect the party from
destruction", he said.
His election pledges are the construction of a clean and beautiful
city, regulating garbage disposal, generating direct and indirect jobs.
Manufacturing fertiliser by recycling garbage, are some of his pledges.