The Report of the sub-committee on Centre-Periphery Relations has been submitted to the Constitutional Assembly for its consideration with the other five sub-committees reports.
According to the Prime Minister’s office sources, six sub-committees were appointed by the Constitutional Assembly to make recommendations on the areas of Fundamental Rights, Judiciary, Finance, Law & Order, Public Service and Centre-Periphery Relations. The Reports have not, as yet, been considered by the Steering Committee. The Reports of the sub-committees are submitted for the consideration of the Constitutional Assembly.
“While there have been many similar recommendations in respect of several important areas, as is inevitable, the Reports of the sub-committees contain overlapping proposals as well as differing proposals on certain aspects. The Steering Committee will consider the sub-committee reports and the views expressed thereon, in preparing its Final Report.” the Prime Minister’s office sources said.
According to the Chairman-Sub Committee on Centre‐Periphery Relations, D. Sithadthan, consequent to the appointment of the sub-Committee consisting of 11 members, including the Chairman, the sub-Committee met seven times on 27th May 2016, 9th June 2016, 23rd June 2016, 8th July 2016, 21st July 2016, 11th August 2016 and 24th August 2016.
He said: “The sub-Committee at its first meeting decided to appoint Mr. N. Selvakkumaran, Mr. S. Thavarajah, Mr. Palitha Abeyarathna and Mr. S. Vijesandiran as experts to assist the Committee, subject to approval by the Steering Committee. The sub‐ committee also decided to invite Governors, Chief Ministers, Leaders of Opposition of the Provincial Councils and other selected invitees to make their submissions. Subsequently the Steering Committee assigned Mr. N. Selvakkumaran, Prof. Navaratne Bandara, Ms. Chamindry Saparamadu, Mr. Asoka Gunawardane, Mr. Winston Pathiraj, Mr. Lal Wijenayake and Mr. Suren Fernando also as experts, to assist the sub-Committee.
At the second meeting held on 23rd June 2016, Hon. (Dr.) Jayampathy Wickramaratne, MP inter-alia explained the scope of the sub-Committee. He explained that the Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly recommended that a subcommittee on Centre-Periphery Relations to deal with the relationship between National Government as well as the Provincial Councils and Local Government Authorities.
The sub‐Committee initially decided the following subject areas for its consideration:
1. Local Authorities: Powers and Functions and Grama Rajya Concepts.
2. Provincial Executive / Executive Committee System.
3. Powers of the Governor and his/යැර role in Legislation.
4. Independent Public Service Commission / Administrative structures of the provinces.
5. Role of the District Secretariat and the Divisional Secretariats vis-a-vis the Provincial Councils / Implementation of Parliamentary Laws on Specified Subjects by the Provincial Councils and Local Authorities / Manner of Implementation of policy
6. Revenue collection and the Formulae for Division of Revenue / Dual Reporting in terms of Revenue Accountability / Policy Making -National, Provincial, District, Local Authorities.
However, after receiving submissions, it was decided that the sub-committee should also consider the following areas:
- Concurrent List / Reserved List
- Law and Order and Police Powers
- Constitutional Court
The names of the sub-committee members and experts and invitees, who were present during sittings of the sub-committee are given in the Annexure to this report.”
“Members of the Committee Hon. Mr. Vidura Wickramanayaka M.P and Mr. Sanath Nishantha Perera, M.P. informed the Committee that written submission was made to the Steering Committee by group of MPs that represent them also, and they wanted two weeks time to respond to the draft report of the Committee circulated to the members on 11.08.2016. However since we have to submit this report before the 30th of August, we could not wait for their response. We suggested them to make their observation through their representatives direct to the Steering Committee.
“Mr. Bimal Rathnayake, M.P., and Committee member also informed that his party, the JVP, would be submitting a report to the Steering Committee. However, a divergent view expressed by him with regard to one recommendation in the report is given as an alternate view in that section. (Recommendation 12 under Independent Public Service Commission / Administrative Structures of the Provinces in Page 18.).
“Subject to the above, there is general consensus amongst the Committee members on the recommendations given under various subject headings in the succeeding chapters. Opinion of Expert Members are given along with some recommendations in italic, which is only an ‘Expert Opinion’ and can’t be considered as part of the recommendations of the Committee.
“The reporting format followed in the report is that under each subject area headings we have first tried to elucidate the subject beside the views expressed by the members, experts and invitees who made oral and written submissions and thereafter our recommendations are constructed based on the rationale of the merits of the facts. We have also taken serious note of the “Report of the Public Representations Committee on Constitutional Reform” in arriving at our recommendations and wherever necessary cross reference is given.
“We have rushed through this report due to time constraints, and any omissions and typographical errors are regretted.” the committee chairman said in the preface.
To read the report of the Sub-Committee on Centre-Periphery Relations click here