Colombo: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has called for an early elections in three of the nine provincial councils to test popularity of his government in the wake of international pressure on him.

The Sri Lankan Elections Secretariat on Wednesday confirmed that it has received the dissolution documents of North Central, Sabaragamuwa and Eastern provincial councils ratified by the respective governors.

Governor of North Central Province Karunarathna Divulgane said he had signed the order of dissolution while same was stated by Governor of Eastern province Mohan Wijewickrema. South Eastern Sabaragamuva province is the third provincial council to be dissolved on Wednesday, presidential officials said.

The terms of the councils are due to expire in May 2013. However, President Rajapaksa has opted to call early elections to test popularity of his government as means to prove a point to the international community.

The president wants to tell the world his government was still popular particularly even after the UN Human Rights Council passed a resolution against Sri Lanka at the March sessions of the UN human rights body, analysts noted.

The ruling United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) controls all provincial councils. The elections for the Tamil-dominated northern provincial council are yet to be held after the province was de-merged from the eastern province in 2006.


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