Local Democratic Crises in Sri Lanka: A Study based on Kalmunai Municipal Council
AbstractLocal democracy is a popular concept that is most applicable at the grassroots level. If the local government has a strong standing in local democracy, it can legitimately claim to play a significant and distinctive role in the central government. Against this backdrop, this study attempts to analyse the function of local democracy in Kalmunai Municipality in Eastern Sri Lanka. This study is based on a descriptive method of inquiry. The data were collected from both primary and secondary sources of information. In the collection of primary data, the tools and techniques of qualitative research, such as observation, interviews, structured questionnaire, focus group discussions, and field visits were employed. The qualitative interviews were conducted with representatives, voters, and civil society members. Secondary sources such as published and unpublished records, both from different levels of government and from non-governmental organizations, were perused to collect relevant data. The findings of the study show that Kalmunai Municipal Council is struggling to establish a well-built democracy in its territory through people participation at a broader level. The major reason for the declining standard of democratic governance appears to be a distinct drop in the perceived efficiency and effectiveness of the council, issues that have not been addressed by the council. The grossly inadequate powers and resources available to it have made the council incapable of tackling even the underlying day-to-day problems of the local communities.
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