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Sri Lankan government has 'rendered the council powerless’ - Batticaloa mayor


Batticaloa’s mayor Thiyagarajah Saravanapavan met with British High Commissioner Sarah Hulton on Tuesday (11th Feb 2020), where he revealed that the government has relinquished the powers of the local council and abandoned the development of their city.  

Saravanapavan made this statement on Tuesday at the Batticaloa Municipal Council, where he was critical of the Sri Lankan government restricting the power and authority of the Batticaloa council.

He addressed the meeting with the Municipal Council officials to diplomats Sarah Hulton who was accompanied by High Commissions Office of Political Affairs executive, Jovita Arulanantham and Human Rights Officer Sumudu Jayasinghe.

The members of the Municipal Council also in attendance were Batticaloa Municipal Commissioner K. Sithiravel, Deputy Chief Minister K. Sathiyaseelan and Deputy Commissioner U.C. Sivarajah.

Saravanapavan pointed out that the government had overlooked the Batticaloa council and restricted funding, which he believes in turn has caused many difficulties in the development of the city.

He explained the potential of Batticaloa with appropriate backing by explaining the current joint partnership scheme with UNICEF and the Batticaloa Municipal Council, with the current project established to provide protection and support for local children and women.

He went on to stress the council was in the process of finding suitable investors for the city with many developmental activities proposed.  

The meeting also discussed various issues that the Tamil people of the Eastern province are facing; the importance of equality; and local government activities – both those that have already occurred and those that are in the works. Sarah Hulton visited Trincomalee earlier this week where she tweeted that she discussed ‘the importance of serving all communities’ with Additional Government Agent Aruthavarajah.

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