Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, in his first parliamentary address after assuming office in the new administration headed by President Maithripala Sirisena -- said the Government would preserve the unitary character of the Constitution when introducing constitutional reforms.
He outlined the plan for the execution of the 100-day programme and said the Government would introduce the 19th Amendment to the Constitution for the establishment of independent commissions which were rendered worthless under the 18th Amendment.
The Prime Minister said fresh constitutional reforms would be enacted to transfer the executive powers to the Legislature and the Cabinet during this period.
"We will introduce these reforms while preserving the unitary character of the Constitution. The 13th Amendment to the Constitution will be implemented subject to that principle," he said.
He said the stage had been set for a novel political culture and his government intended to engage in consensus politics rather than adopting a confrontational approach in achieving the targets set out in the 100-day programme in the greater interest of the country.
The Prime Minister said the country was engulfed in political and economic issues and grappling with challenges on the international front and added that the government would overcome all these challenges. He said the Government would enact the National Audit Bill, Right to Information Bill and the legislation for the implementation of the National Medicinal Drugs Policy.
"We now have a new political culture in which the main political parties have cast aside their policies and ideological differences to achieve common goals. This is a novel experience for the entire region. We will tread this path in consultation with all stakeholders," he said. (Kelum Bandara and Yohan Perera)