The North Eastern Province was one of the provinces of Sri Lanka. The
province was created in September 1988 by merging the Northern and
Eastern provinces. This merger was declared illegal by the Supreme
Sri Lanka in 2006. The province was formally demerged into
the Northern and Eastern provinces on 1 January 2007. The capital of
the province was Trincomalee.
2 Provincial Council
5 External links
The Indo-Lanka Accord signed on 29 July 1987 required the Sri Lankan
government to devolve powers to the provinces and, in the interim, to
merge the Northern and Eastern provinces into one administrative unit.
The accord required a referendum to be held by 31 December 1988 in the
Eastern Province to decide whether the merger should be permanent.
Crucially, the accord allowed the Sri Lankan president to postpone the
referendum at his discretion
On 14 November 1987 the
Sri Lankan Parliament
Sri Lankan Parliament passed the 13th
Amendment to the 1978
Constitution of Sri Lanka
Constitution of Sri Lanka and the Provincial
Councils Act No 42 of 1987, establishing provincial councils.
Nine provincial councils were created by order on 3 February 1988.
On 2 and 8 September 1988 President Jayewardene issued proclamations
enabling the Northern and Eastern provinces to be one administrative
unit administered by one elected Council. The North Eastern
Province was born.
The proclamations were only meant to be a temporary measure until a
referendum was held in the Eastern Province on a permanent merger
between the two provinces. However, the referendum was never held and
successive Sri Lankan presidents have issued proclamations annually
extending the life of the "temporary" entity.
The merger was bitterly opposed by Sri Lankan nationalists. The
combined North Eastern Province occupied one fourth of Sri Lanka. The
thought of the Tamil Tigers controlling this province, directly or
indirectly, alarmed them greatly. On 14 July 2006, after a long
campaign against the merger, the JVP filed three separate petitions
with the Supreme Court of
Sri Lanka requesting a separate Provincial
Council for the East. On 16 October 2006 the Supreme Court ruled
that the proclamations issued by President Jayewardene were null and
void and had no legal effect. The North Eastern Province was
formally demerged into the Northern and Eastern provinces on 1 January
The 13th Amendment to the 1978
Constitution of Sri Lanka
Constitution of Sri Lanka and the
Provincial Councils Act No 42 of 1987 established provincial
councils. Nine provincial councils were created by order on 3
February 1988. The first elections for provincial councils took
place on 28 April 1988 in North Central, North Western, Sabaragamuwa,
and Uva provinces.
Elections in the newly merged North Eastern Province were scheduled
for 19 November 1988. However, the
Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF),
which at that time occupied the province, rigged the elections in the
north so that the Eelam People's Revolutionary Liberation Front
Eelam National Democratic Liberation Front (ENDLF), two
Indian backed paramilitary groups, won all of the 36 seats in the
north uncontested. However, elections did take place for the 35
seats in the east. The
Sri Lanka Muslim Congress won 17 seats, EPRLF
12 seats, ENDLF 5 seats and the
United National Party
United National Party 1 seat. On 10
December 1988 Annamalai Varadaraja Perumal, a former lecturer at the
Jaffna University Economics Department, of the EPRLF became the first
Chief Minister of the North Eastern Provincial Council.
On 1 March 1990, just as the IPKF were preparing to withdraw from Sri
Lanka, Perumal moved a motion in the North-East Provincial Council
declaraing an independent Eelam. President Premadasa reacted to
Perumal's UDI by dissolving the provincial council and imposing direct
rule on the province.
The province was ruled directly from
Colombo until May 2008 when
elections were held for the demerged Eastern Provincial Council. The
Northern Provincial Council
Northern Provincial Council elections took place in
2013, with ITAK securing a majority of votes.
C. V. Vigneswaran was
appointed as the 1st
Chief Minister of Northern Province following the
Main article: Provincial Governors of Sri Lanka
The governors of the Sri Lankan provinces tend to be mostly retired
politicians, judges and military officers. The North Eastern Province
had six governors in its 18 years of existence:
Lieutenant General Nalin Seneviratne
30 November 1988
30 November 1993
30 November 1993
23 August 1994
13 January 1995
20 October 1998
Major General Ashoka Jayawardene
13 November 1998
30 November 2004
6 December 2004
20 January 2006
Rear Admiral Mohan Wijewickrama
21 January 2006
31 December 2006
^ Department of Census & Statistics Statistical Abstract 2007
(Area & Climate) Archived 4 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
^ a b c d e f g "North-East merger illegal:SC". LankaNewspapers.com.
17 October 2006. Retrieved 22 August 2009.
Sri Lanka Agreement, 1987". Tamil Nation. Retrieved 22 August
2009. [dead link]
^ a b "Provincial Councils". The Official Website of the Government of
Sri Lanka. Archived from the original on 7 July 2009. Retrieved 22
^ a b "The Constitution". The Official Website of the Government of
Sri Lanka. Retrieved 22 August 2009.
^ Sambandan, V.S. (14 November 2003). "Sri Lanka's North-East to
remain united for another year". Chennai, India: The Hindu. Retrieved
22 August 2009.
^ "Ethnic Conflict of Sri Lanka: Time Line – From
1999". International Centre for Ethnic Studies. Archived from the
original on 12 December 2009. Retrieved 22 August 2009.
^ a b Rajasingham, K.T. (20 April 2002). "Chapter 36: Indians rule the
roost". Sri Lanka: The Untold Story. Asia Times. Retrieved 22 August
^ Ferdinando, Shamindra (10 September 2000). "I'm no traitor, says
Perumal". Sunday Island. Retrieved 22 August 2009.
^ "Retired Navy Chief of Staff appointed NorthEast Governor".
TamilNet. 21 January 2006. Retrieved 22 August 2009.
^ "Sri Lankan Provinces from 1988". WorldStatesmen.org. Retrieved 22
"Provinces of Sri Lanka