BY Mirudhula ThambiahThe five-member National Delimitation Committee on the Demarcation of Wards for Local Authorities appointed by Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena and chaired by former Election Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya, which is to submit its final report by 28 February 2023, is to meet and appoint technical committees during the course of this week.Speaking to The Morning on Sunday (6), Deshapriya said that a final report on the matter will be submitted to Premier Gunawardena by February of next year. “We have to submit the report of our committee, on or before 28 February 2023, to the Prime Minister, who is the subject Minister of Local Government (LG),” he added.Deshapriya noted that the committee will meet today (8) for the first time to hold initial discussions to outline the framework and to decide on appointing technical committees within the course of this week. He also said that Gunawardena, being the subject Minister, will appoint the district technical committees headed by District Secretaries (DSs) or Government Agents. “Ex-officio members of these technical committees would be a survey superintendent, a statistical officer, a deputy or an assistant commissioner of elections of the district, and the director of planning. These five members will represent the district-level committees. “Dr. K. Thavalingam, who is also a member of the National Committee, would pay special attention to the technical work. Regarding adding numbers concerning the voters’ strength and population, we have asked the Election Commission to send their officers to support us in this regard.”He also clarified that his committee’s mandate is different from the functions of the Election Commission. “This committee has no role in announcing the election date or the publishing of the nomination notice by the Election Commissioner. That is different to our task here; there is no connection,” he added.He noted that a committee chaired by Secretary to the Ministry of Public Administration, Home Affairs, Provincial Councils, and Local Government Priyantha Mayadunne had on 4 November made directions regarding the National Committee’s mandate. “We have two ex-Chairs of the Delimitation Committee and Commission, including Dr. Thavalingam, who was there for the last five years and was the Chair of the Delimitation of Provincial Councils, and Jayalath R.V. Dissanayake, who was the Chairman of the Local Government Delimitation Commission from 2013-2015. I.A. Hameed is a member of the Human Settlement of Habitat committee, and W. Mangalika R. Adikari was a former Ministry Secretary and Sri Lanka Education Administrative Service officer. We will manage everything. It is a committee representing members of all communities,” he added.Accordingly, Prime Minister Gunawardena, in his capacity as the Minister of Provincial Councils and Local Government, issued an extraordinary gazette appointing a five-member National Delimitation Committee for the demarcation of wards for local authorities. Dissanayake, Adikari, Thavalingam, and Hameed will serve as members of the committee along with Chairman Deshapriya. The National Delimitation Committee is effective from 1 November 2022 to 28 February 2023, as per the gazette notification.