Indian Origin Tamils Seek Multi-Member Constituencies

Since Sri Lanka is seriously thinking of going in for major electoral reforms to replace the present District-wise Proportional Representation System (DPRS) with a mix of the DPRS and the First Past the Post System (FPPS), Indian Origin Tamils (IOTs) have submitted proposals to safeguard their interest, The New Indian Express said.

“Multi-Member Constituencies are most essential to ease the fears of the most vulnerable ethnic minorities,” a memorandum presented to the Commissioner of Elections by the Democratic Peoples’ Front (DPF), a party representing the  IOTs, said.

The memorandum said that many urban constituencies will have to be turned into MMCs since urban areas are typically multi-ethnic. A good section of the IOTs are urbanized. As regards Sinhalese-majority rural constituencies, those divisions in which Tamil is allowed to be used as an additional official language, should have MMCs, the memorandum said.

The DPF wants constituency delimitation to be done on the basis of population figures as per the last census in 2011, and not on the voter list, the Express added.

For a fair representation in seats filled under the DPRS, the party wants the administrative districts of Colombo, Gampaha, Kalutara, Ratnapura, Kandy, Galle and Kurunegala to be divided into two for electoral purposes. The IOTs are significant minorities in these districts.

The DPF considers it fair if the IOTs are able to elect five MPs from Nuwara Eliya district; three from Colombo; two each from Badulla and Kandy; and one each from Ratnapura and Gampaha; making a total of 14 MPs in a House of 250.
(With inputs from The New Indian Express)

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