Re-demarcation of provinces in Sri Lanka
Posted on June 20th, 2010

by Gamage Palihapitiya, Toronto, Canada

Northern and Eastern provinces have been amalgamated according to the 13th amendment of the Sri Lanka constitution during the JRJ’s presidency. This was done hurriedly without consulting other political partied due to threats from India. India pretending to be a spectator on the ethnic problem of Sri Lanka, played a vital role in laying the foundation for a separate state within Sri Lanka. However, this amalgamation has been declared null and void by the Supreme Court during the Chandrika Bandaranayake’s presidency.

What is important to note is that the denarcation of provicnces was done by the British according to their whims and fancies without adhering to any norms or any other historical and archeological evidence. They did it in other countries too.

Historically, the present Eastern province was under the domination of the Kandyan Kingdom during the periods of Sinhala Kings. King Senerath, who was a Buddhist monk before becoming a king had ordered Moslems to settle in the Eastern Province. When Robert Knox was arrested in a place in Trincomalee, he was brought before the Kndyan King. There is preponderence of evidence in support of the Sinhalese administration since immemorial times. Prince Saddhatissa was in charge of cultivating the lands before King DutuGemunu challange Elara in a war. Buddhsit excavations in the Eastern Provice bear testimony to this.

Now it is time to do away with the present provinces and re=demarcate new provinces to suit the modern Sri Lanka.

I would suggest the following.

These proposals are subjected to further studies and corrections. This is not the final blue-print and it is only a concept, Suitable names could be given to these provinces. The President of Sri Lanka has the power to re-demarcate these provinces.

1, Anuradhapura District + Trincomalee Distrct should form a province

2. Polonnaruwa District + Batticaloa District should form a provicerict

3. Amparai Distrct + Moneragala District should form a province

4. Badulla Districy + Niwara Eliya District should form a province

5. Kandu District + Matale District should form a province

6. Kurunegala + Puttalama should remain as a province

7. Hambantota + Matara+ Galle Districts should remain in southern province

8. Colombo+ Gampaha + Kalutara Districts should remain in one provicnce

9. Kegalle + Rathnapura Districts should remain in one province

10. Mannar+ Jaffna + Kilinochchi + Vauvniya+ Mullativu should remain as one province.

If this is implemented, the questof establishing a separate state for the Tamil Ealam will not arise. Some kind of devolution of power at grass root level could be implemented. We need not follow the policies adoped by the British to-day. They unilaterally decided mto create provinces min 1815.

4 Responses to “Re-demarcation of provinces in Sri Lanka”

  1. Hiranthe Says:

    This is a good start. If the government is not doing the re-settlement of Sinhalese and Muslims in East and North based on the historical data, this demarcation might help the issue considerably.

    With this sort of action no one can blame the government for colonisation or something similar. The present setup creates mindset that the LieTTE claim of “imaginary” Tamil Kingdom has some truth in it. Tamil politicians were the communal minded lot who created this division between Sinhalas and Tamils even before we got the independence from British…. much before SWRD’s “Sinhala only” stand claimed by the Separatist minded Ealamists.

    Hope the Authorities will get the message…

  2. cassandra Says:

    A very thouhtful piece with a lot of food for thought.

    I have often wondered myself why Sri Lanka continues with the demarcations of provinces that were established many, many years ago for administrative convenience relevant to those times. Many things have changed since then. Populations have moved from area to area, communications have improved and criteria that once were appropriate are not equally valid now.

    As they say, nothing is set in stone. And, as you suggest, it is time to re-think the provincial boundaries. You have offered a suggested revision. As you have said, your suggestion can be used as a basis to work on. At any rate, it is clear to me that the provincial boundaries need to be reviewed and revised to better reflect present day considerations.

  3. trueblue Says:

    Good move !!!!!!!!!!

    My idea is Hambantota district should grab Kataragama ,Udawalwa ,Samanala Wewa ,Wellawaya and Buttala area from Moneragala and Ratnapura districts (they are belong to same geographic area) and form a new province.
    Geographically , this area is known as basin of Ruhuna.

    At present , this area is underdeveloped area and in future , this area is going to be a developed area with new airport and sea port .

  4. trueblue Says:

    I would like to share this link…

    http://www.unesco.org/water/wwap/wwdr/wwdr2/case_studies/img/sri_lanka_big.gif

    It shows how Sri Lanka is divided according to river basins.If government follows that way and re demarcate provinces , no body can say it is unfair.It is purely based on geography and every region has access to the sea.

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