20 June, 2024


Why We Need A Separate Local Government Body To Sainthamaruthu

By N. Ariff

Dr. N. Ariff

Dr. N. Ariff

Sainthamaruthu that is located on the coastal belt of the Eastern Province of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka has a long history. It is one of the olden villages in the province. Sainthamaruthu area prospered by the sea on the east and the agricultural tract on the west consisted of six divisions from KP 47 to KP 53 during the British rule. It was also a separate Village Council called Karavahu Village Council that was a separate self-administrative structure in 1928.

After the enactment of Pradesiya Sabha Act No.: 15 of 1987 by the Parliament, Sainthamaruthu area was brought together with the Kalmunai Town Council with a view to form Kalmunai Pradesiya Sabha in 1987. As the people of Sainthamaruthu realized that the merger was a selfish act of some people, the demand for a separate Local Government Body to Sainthamaruthu emerged in 1988.

Even though the demand for the separate Local Government Body to Sainthamaruthu was made by the Trustee Board of Sainthamaruthu Jummah Mosque, and Social Services Organizations, scholars and social activists in Sainthamaruthu then and there from 1988, it gained the momentum only very recently. The political upheaval prevailing in the area is also one of the main reasons for the current greater dimension in the demand.

Sainthamaruthu, Sri LankaIt should be noted that the local government bodies were formed for the benefit of the people not for hurdling the progress of the people.

The boundaries of the Sainthamaruthu Divisional Secretary’s Division formed on the 4th of February, 2001 were established by the Extra Ordinary Gazette Notification of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka dated 13.10.2006. The Division is clearly and categorically bounded by the Zahira National School Road on the north, by the Maligaikadu Road on the south, by the sea on the east and by the Vettu Aaru on the west. There won’t be any issue to be raised with regard to its boundary when a new separate Local Government Body is formed to the Sainthamaruthu Divisional Secretary’s Division.

Kalmunai Municipal Council with its inadequate resources struggles to provide its services to the population consisting of more than one hundred thousand. If Sainthamaruthu Divisional Secretary’s Division is separated from the Kalmunai Municipal Council in the form of a Local Government Body, it will be effective and beneficial to all the ethnicities under the Kalmunai Municipal Council. If different views are expressed in this regard, it will be only personal and narrow thinking.

As the demand which is reasonable and justifiable was moved for the personal gaining of politicians and individuals, it is still a demand not materialized. As various meaningful efforts were made by several social organizations under the leadership of the Trustee Board of Sainthamaruthu very recently, this was an important issue of the area in the recently concluded parliamentary election.

The members of Sainthamaruthu Welfare Forum met former Ministers Hon. Karu Jayasuriya and Hon. Rauff Hakeem before the parliamentary election and discussed with them with regard to the establishment of a separate Local Government Body to Sainthamaruthu. The Forum also requested by its letter His Excellency the President Maithiripala Sirisena to form a separate Local Government Body to Sainthamaruthu considering the aspirations of the people of Sainthamaruthu.

While several leaders of various political parties promised the people of Sainthamaruthu that they would obtain a separate Local Government Body to Sainthamaruthu for the people in Sainthamaruthu, the pledge made by the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in the mammoth election rally held in Kalmunai during the parliamentary election provided the people of Sainthamaruthu a confidence that their dream would realize sooner than late. They also voted for the victory of the United National Front in the General Election.

The people of Sainthamaruthu are eagerly anticipating that the Separate Local Government Body for Sainthamaruthu will bloom before the Local Government Elections to be held in November of this year. Will it bloom so? Yes, it is in the hands of the National Unity Government.

*Dr. N. Ariff is currently working as District Medical Officer at Sainthamaruthu District Hospital

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Latest comments

  • 4

    I am not sure this is a valid request or not there maybe an opposing view also,
    But as the writer has mentioned it is important to preserve the identity of each village.

    Before long rural identity will vanish from Sri Lanka. Whatever possible should be done to preserve that identity. There should be a forum/ministry where such issues can be taken up for discussion and action.

    PM Ranil W. yesterday advised that the identity of Colombo must be preserved unlike in the previous regime where one brother destroyed a centuries old community in Slave Island (what a sad situation) dispersing people and lively hoods of thousand of people all for the reason of breaking up the minority votes and gain commission from contractors/builders.

    Hopefully the new government will do it’s utmost to preserve the Sri Lankan identity and reduce and eliminate the culture of violence/drugs/gambling/alcoholism and prostitution from Sri Lanka.

  • 25

    It is an irrational and narrowly defined requst! I’m always against for a local government authority established to serve a mono enthnic group. Just think what will happend if each and every villeage regusts for a seperate local government body in Sri Lanka????????. Tradinationally we have local authorities for each vileage including RDO, Temple etc.. to maintain its identity.

    • 10

      They are not an ethnic group, they are a religious group. How can Muslim, a religion become an ethnic group? You do not get ethnic groups any where in the world called Christian Hindu Buddhist Muslim ethnic groups.
      They are descended from immigrant Dravidian Indian Tamil Muslims from what is modern day Kerala and Tamil Nadu. If there is any Arab blood in them, it is very insignificant. These backstabbers a now trying to claim this insignificant amount of Arab blood in them between 1%-5% to claim a pure Arb heritage whilst deliberately ignoring their 95%-100% Tamil ancestry. This Arab/Moor origin lie was started by their evil selfish power hungry politicians/elite , for their own selfish ends. They had brain washed the gullible Tamil Muslim masses, who do not have any Arab blood in them, to believe in this lies and myth and to hate their own real rich Sufi Tamil heritage that is almost a 1000 years old. This itself is a form of genocide by not allowing/denying the people to acknowledge their real origins.
      The British and then all Sinhalese Sri Lankan government encouraged and kept up this lies and myth. so that they can divide the Tamils and weaken them. They had the full cooperation of the so called Muslim elite and power hungry politicians.
      Because of the centuries old Moorish rule in the Iberian peninsular. The Portuguese mistakenly used to identify and call any Muslim that they met during their colonial conquests and travels as Moors. The Muslims in Africa( Not north Africa) Sri Lanka South India. These lying backstabbers had used this to their advantage to create this Arab/Moorish origin myth for their Dravidian immigrant Tamil Muslim community. Thinking this will give them lots of advantages, from the British and then the Sinhalese from denying their real Tamil origin
      The ancestral population from who they originated. The Muslims of Tamil Nadu and the ethnic Tamil Muslims of Kerala, proudly call themselves Tamils and Dravidians , with some with a dash of Arab. However their descendants who migrated Sri Lanka have now become Arabs/Moors. Only in Sri Lanka a leopard changes its spots to suit itself

  • 2

    There has to be devolution to the pradeshiya saba. Minority rights have to be respected.

  • 7

    Dear Dr. N Arif
    The issue you have raised here for a separate local govt. body for Sainthamaruthu, as I understand, is a topical one to local politics and often discussed especially when there is an election held. There are many arguments for and against for your request. Many of my friends from Sainthamarutu have opined the same as you. But I’m afraid this request is neither politically motivated one nor serving some politicians long-term interest.
    I support the idea of preserving the identity and character of a town as every city is an individual living organism. There can be ways and means where you can still maintain the identity and character of your city without going for a division from Kalmunai MC, if that is the only concern.
    Secondly why now at a time where the new GOVT plans to develop Kalmunai as a special city and hopefully will pump enormous amount of resources towards it (PLS refer the UNP’s manifesto for the recent general election)you might miss the fruit now Dr, by going separated from Kalmunai.
    It would have been much persuasive, should you had presented the rationale and the real benefits to people expected from this new division along with the history Dr.

    Thank you,

  • 14

    it is a Childish article by so called DMO – Dr.

  • 3

    Dear Dr. N. Ariff. You have mentioned just one reason for the demand which is not so justifiable and that could be easily overcome. The article’s title and the passage doesn’t match and there are no good justifiable reasons indicated by the article

    I so interested in reading the article by looking at the title but it couldn’t bring the same.

    For my knowledge there are few reasons behind the demand in current term apart from historic. 1. Regional and local politics, and rural identity view. 2. Sainthamaruthu people feel that they kept outside from development and social work shares allocated from Kalmunai MC. 3. People doesn’t wanted to pay taxes to Kalmunai as they are not getting the same services and they do not wanted t pay and they wanted to have a Pradhasiya Sabhawa instead having MC or UC
    These demands are not fruitful and those can be easily overcome. I general feel that departing will bring unwanted damages than the benefit we believe


  • 8

    Most extremist Muslims (mainly politicians) try to establish ethnic villages in Sri Lanka . The above said area is a good example – when you travel through the eastern coast , you all d notice plenty of boards written in arabic but not in Sinhalese or Tamil – this is a greatest and latest theat to the peaceful sri Lanka.Tamils have lost their own lands in east .Sinhalese,common Muslims and Tamils should get together and should fight against this Islamic extremism

    • 0

      Stop vomiting venom and create rift among the Tamil and Muslim community. your argument to disprove the Moor race status will not hold any brief. This has been accepted for many centuries and now you are trying to prove something out of the blue,
      Whom are you referring to back stabbers ? may be your ancestors You trying dominate over another community which was proved during the merged North & Eastern Provincial Council rule where you never cared for the interest of the Muslim Community.
      Muslim as a race never ever back stab to others the Prince of Malabar who came with his retinue of Army to defend the Sinhalese Kingdom were handed over to the Foreign invaders. You mean to say that the Muslim back stabbed the Sinhalese? never ever the Muslim back Stab to the trusted one.
      Further How dare you say that the Muslim are not a separate ethnic entity, Tamil is Universal Language and not exclusive to a particular group of Hindus. Do not try to mix the ethnic identity and a Language. Americans speak English and therefore can you identify them as English. Stop thinking the way you desire and pollute the peaceful co- existence of Tamil Muslim and Sinhalese in this Country

  • 3


    Sri Lankans of all religious persuasions have wishes and aspirations . This is not peculiar to those of the Islamic faith only. We must try to unite as Sri Lankans , and not form groups based on religion and ethnicity .

    • 2

      Thank u Dr. Goebells for ur concern. I couldn’t understand how establishment of one Local Govt Body is going to affect the unity of our motherland. These bodies are just going to help the people with the development and administration as it is the aim of this policy introduced in the past. And also, we don’t request as a separate ethnic group but as people living in a clearly defined Sainthamaruthu Divisional Secretariat.

      • 3


        Thank you for your response. News of street signs in Arabic etc., have set off alarm bells amongst peace loving Sri Lankans trying to rebuild their lives after a 30 year war which killed and maimed thousands of innocent men women and children of this country .

  • 4

    Dr Ariff, The reasons put forward by you to get a separate local govt.body are not very valid. You should not have a L.G.B on the ethnic basis because 100% of the people living saithamaruthu are Muslims. It is naive on the part of the s.maruthu people to segregate themselves from the rest while the whole Srilankans completely neglected the parties that contested with tainted racial slogans in the recently concluded parliamentary elections.Above all the late leader of S.L.M.C Mr. Ashroff in numerous instances he reiterated about the unity of Muslims living especially in the East.Further the new unity govt. is also trying to reach out the minorities in order to heal the past wound inflicted by the
    former government.Therefore pls. understand the political situation prevailing in the country and accommodate other communities to regain the paradise lost. thanks. Yasin

    • 1

      Thanks Mr. Yasin. So, it is better to dissolve all the local government bodies and bring them united. You better to study what the purpose of Local Govt Body introduced.

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