President assures polls in September

President Mahinda Rajapaksa today assured that provincial council elections will be held in the north in September.
Speaking at an event in Welioya today, the President said that the people of the north had suffered immensely as a result of the 30 year war.
He said that those people will now have a chance to have provincial council elections and he hopes to have those elections in September.
Some government members and allied political parties have already objected to holding elections in the north.
Government Minister Wimal Weerawanse had said in February that the northern provincial council should not be allowed to fall into the hands of separatist forces.
He warned that if such elements obtain power in the council following the scheduled elections later this year, they will look at dividing the country once again.
Weerawanse said that if separatist forces contest and win the election they will gradually ask for police and land powers.
The Minister says Sri Lanka is now faced with a key national challenge to ensure the northern province does not fall into the hands of separatist forces and by virtue of that into the hands of international forces looking at dividing the country. (Colombo Gazatte)