An Analysis of the Development Impacts of Establishing Kalmunai Administrative District in Sri Lanka

  •  Mohammad Agus Yusoff    
  •  Athambawa Sarjoon    
  •  Mat Ali Hassan    


Decentralizing administrative powers to locally established administrative units has been the key goal of many governments in developing counties intended to boost socio-economic development at regional level. Sri Lanka has also introduced many decentralization initiatives with development motives. New administrative districts were formed in Sri Lanka with development as part of their motive, but, no new district has been formed in the last 30 years while demands have prevailed in many corners of the country. The demand calling for the establishment of the Kalmunai administrative district has been a prolonged and politically influencing demand for the last 15 years in Sri Lanka’s political-development discourse. This study attempts to examine the development impacts of establishing the Kalmunai administrative district that has been advocated by the people living in the coastal belt of the Amparai district (referred as ‘south eastern region’), a region which has been lacking in terms of development due to the severe impacts of thirty-year civil war as well as the 2004 Asian Tsunami devastation in Sri Lanka. The findings of the study reveal that the establishment of the proposed Kalmunai district will eventually contribute to multi-dimensional development in the region in the long run, however, a conducive institutional environment needs to be built in and around the district administrative machinery in order to ensure equity and justice in service delivery and resource allocation among different ethnic groups in the district which would be the pre-condition for the sustainability of any kind of development impact in the region.

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