SLMC Proposals for North East Interim Council
Late SLMC leader and Ports Minister M.H.M. Ashraff, before his death in an aircrash on September 16, had proposed the following items to enable the security and safeguards of the minorities in the the North East when the Interim Regional Council for the Northern and Eastern Provinces are established under the proposed New Constitution. These proposals assume importance in view of the Presidential assertion to introduce the Constitutional Reforms Bill after the parliamentary elections.
The Interim Council shall exercise its powers with rigorous impartiality on behalf of all the people in the diversity of their identities and traditions and shall be founded on the principles of full respect for equality of civil, political social, religious and cultural rights of freedom from discrimination for all citizens and to parity of esteem and just and equal treatment for their identity, ethos and aspirations of all communities.
I. Members of the Interim Council shall be appointed by the President upon being nominated by registered political parties or independent groups representing the citizens of the Northern and Eastern regions. However, the President shall ensure that the ethnic composition of the Northern and Eastern Regions is reflected in the membership of the Interim Council.
II. The governor shall also appoint another minister from the largest minority community on the advice of the Chief Minister.
III. A member nominated by a political party shall be liable to be removed at the instance of that party or independent group.
IV. The President shall fill the vacancy created by the removal with another nominee from the same political party or independent group.
Board of Ministers
I. The Board of Ministers shall consist of the Chief Minister, two Deputy Chief Ministers and six other ministers. The Governor shall appoint as Chief Minister the member of the council who is best able to command the support of a majority of the members of this council.
II. The Governor shall appoint the two Deputy Chief Ministers and they shall be from communities other than the community to which the chief minister belongs. The deputy chief ministers shall be the persons who are best able to command the support of the majority of the members of their respective communities.
Executive Committee System
The provisions of Chapter XV relating to executive committee will apply to the interim council.
Constitutional assignment of ministerial subjects and functions
The core subjects and functions to be assigned to the chief minister, the two deputy chief ministers and the other ministers should be enshrined in the new constitution.
The following decisions of the council shall require parallel consent i.e. a majority of those members present and voting and including a majority among each of the communities represented in the interim council i.e. Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim communities.
a. Election of the Speaker
b. adoption of standing orders
c. Any other vital decisions pertaining to the security, religion, etc. of the communities of the region that shall be declared by the Speaker as a decision requiring parallel consent upon a motion to that effect being supported by not less than 30 per centum of the total number of members.
Representation at the chief ministers Conference
The two deputy chief ministers shall be entitled to participate in the chief ministers conference.
The Finance Commission shall take into consideration the following matters before allocating funds and give appropriate directives to the Interim Council.
I. The disparity already prevailing in certain under developed local authority areas.
II. The size of the population and geographic size of the area of the local authority.
III. The Interim Council should expend such funds as are allocated to it by the central government in accordance with the guidelines provided by the Finance Commission.
IV. The Interim Council should also ensure areas where minority communities are concentrated within a particular local authority should not in any way be discriminated in the allocation of funds for development.
Law and Order
I. The Interim Council shall assist the government in the de-escalation of and de-commissioning of illegally held arms in the possessions of para military groups.
II. The chief minister shall take all decisions pertaining to the security of the minorities of the region in consultation with the respective Deputy Chief Ministers.
New Administrative Districts
There shall be established a new Administrative District for the coastal area of Digamadulla district consisting of Kalmunai, Samanthurai and Pottuvil areas.