By Shamindra Ferdinando
State Minister of City Planning and Water Supply Dr. Sudarshini Fernandopulle yesterday accused the government of reneging on its much-touted promise to increase women’s representation in local government bodies.
State Minister Fernandopulle flayed the government for proposing amendments to local authorities act that would certainly result in the reduction of seats allocated for women.
Turning towards Provincial Council and Local Government Minister Faiszer Musthapha, PC, State Minister Fernandopulle said that she would vote against such amendments. She questioned the government move after Minister Musthapha praised the role played by women at the local government level.
Pointing out that the ruling coalition had amended the law last year to ensure 25 per cent women representation in local government bodies, State Minister Fernandopulle alleged that recent party leaders’ consensus on the First Past the Post System/PR system ratio to 60/40 from the earlier proposed ratio of 70/30 had caused the problems.
Minister Musthapha said they could solve the issue by taking it up with President Maithripala Sirisena.
State Minister Fernandopulle told The Island later that she had written to both President Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe expressing concern over the government reneging on its promise to increase women’s representation in local bodies.