UNP Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya accused the government “which adopts a policy to suit its political agenda,” of keeping mum on media reports of a plan to abolish the 144-year old Colombo Municipal Council (CMC).
The government was well aware that they are losing the support of the people living in municipal areas and was hence trying to overcome this situation by abolishing the CMC, he charged.
“This is a politically motivated, dishonest act carried out with the intention of bringing democratically elected institutions under government control,’’ he said.
He noted that the CMC had been administered by the UNP during most of the past 50 years except for a brief period under Dr. N.M. Perera and Mr. A.H.M. Fowzie who changed his political loyalty after being elected under the UNP.
The UNP lost the CMC administration in 2006 as its list was rejected on a legal point. Though the independent group which was elected had the support of the UNP, they believed that the failure of the CMC administration under this group was due to acts of the government to win over elected members to its side and not due to inefficiency of the officers of the CMC.
Jayasuriya said that when he began his political career as the Mayor of Colombo he realized that the CMC could be turned into an efficient and productive institution without changing its structure.
“If the administration of the CMC has deteriorated during the past five years, it is due to the political inability of some members and lack of management skills of the persons who guided them,” he said.
The present deterioration of the administration of the Colombo Municipality showed the political inability of the present government which is trying its best to conceal this fact.
Jayasuriya said that the UNP stood for a Municipal Council run by representatives elected by the people and are against a council under the control of the president.
He alleged that there is an ulterior motive behind the whole exercise to abolish the CMC with the government trying to do away with the democratic system operated through representatives elected by the people to centralize power to ensure the uninterrupted continuity of the government.
“We caution the government – the journey disregarding the will of the people is short lived,” he warned challenging the government to elect members to the CMC and face the reality. from island