COLOMBO - Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapakse pledged Sunday to proceed with the first-ever provincial polls in the island's former war zone but his government said the powers of the elected council will be clipped. The ruling coalition had promised to share limited power with Tamils, pointing to elections to local councils, after the military crushed separatist Tamil rebels in May 2009 and ended 37 years of ethnic bloodshed. Rajapakse on Saturday visited the northern district of Kilinochchi, the political capital of the defeated Tamil Tiger rebels, and promised to hold elections as scheduled in September, his office said.