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* Sri Lanka to dissolve local government bodies tomorrow
Wed, Jan 5, 2011, 12:52 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Jan 05, Colombo: The Sri Lankan government has taken a sudden decision to dissolve all the Local Government Institutions on Thursday (06) a senior official has said Wednesday.

Earlier the government said the Local Government institutions will be dissolved on January 10 and elections will be held in mid-March.

The official has said that the Local Government and Provincial Councils Minister A.L.M. Athaulla will issue a special gazette notification in term of the powers vested in him to end the terms of 330 Municipal Councils, Town Councils, and Pradeshiya Sabhas enabling the Commissioner of Elections to call for fresh elections.

However, the Jaffna Municipal Council and Vavuniya Town Council which were elected in August 2009 will not be dissolved and will continue to function.

The government says it is trying to avoid holding elections in the areas where the cricket World Cup matches are to be held.

Sri Lanka is to co-host the World Cup tournament which opens in Dhaka on February 19, 2011 and climaxes in the final in Mumbai on April 2. Sri Lanka will host 12 matches including one semi-final at Pallekele in Kandy, Kettarama in Colombo and Sooriyawewa in Hambanthota.

The first match in Sri Lanka will be on February 20 at Sooriyawewa in Hambanthota and the last match is to be hosted at R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on March 29.

Accordingly the elections for the local bodies in these locations will be held after the World Cup matches end since the term of all the local bodies has been extended until April 2011.

Sri Lanka's World Cup winning cricket captain turned politician Arjuna Ranatunga yesterday urged the President and the Minister of Sports not to hold the local government elections parallel to the World Cup events as political clashes during the election campaign might affect the image of the country.

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