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Focus on country’s burning issues, not new constitution - Ven. Rathana Thera

25 October 2017 08:42 pm - 9     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Parliamentarian Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera today said he had opposed the Constitutional Assembly Steering Committee's Interim Report and added that there are several other burning issues in the country that need to be addressed, other than bringing in a new Constitution.

The Thera said that issues related to political prisoners and existing issues in the North and Eastern Provinces after the 30-year war need to be given priority.

“Today the government is attempting to sell 45,000 acres of land, including local properties to the international community, companies and businessmen, claiming to settle the loans obtained by the previous government. Land requirement for people has become another burning issue at a national level. Without considering these issues, the government is preparing a new constitution which is not practical,” the prelate said.

“This government as well as the previous regime did not work towards achieving peace in the country after the war. It should have created livelihoods for the widows in the Northern and Eastern provinces to enhance their lives. The government should have prioritized to address their grievances and economic shortcomings. Instead the Government is marching ahead on a shortsighted political journey. A national policy for the well-being of the people in the North and East is imperative. But the Government is working on a constitution that has no relevance to the problems faced by the country,” he said.

According to the new Constitution, merging the Northern and Eastern provinces would lead to racial issues among the people. As such many members of Muslim communities in the East are not in agreement with this proposed constitution.

“If the constitution was passed, no other amendments could be instituted as the Parliament would become inactive in the future.

Ven. Rathana Thera said, even the United National Party (UNP) was not in favour of this new Constitution since they did not express their stance clearly. However they did express their views in the interim committee report.

Finally, he said the Constitution should be drafted in accordance with the needs of the people of the country and not according to the whims of other countries. We do not blame the soliciting of international support, but the Constitution should not be drafted according to their requirement, the Thera said. (Chaturanga Pradeep)

Pix by Pradeep Pathirana

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  Comments - 9

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  • Snowy Wednesday, 25 October 2017 08:59 PM

    Sir, there is a famous old saying "One man food is another poison". Yes, for some who travel in luxury cars and work and live in air conditioned rooms, the constitution is not a priority. For the people who have been suppressed and undergoing hardship we a new constitution is bread and butter. We want the Executive Presidents, chit MPs and the proportional system out.

    Vernon Wednesday, 25 October 2017 09:12 PM

    Why don't our people realize that some of the burning issues originated due to improper or inadequate constitution. It is like having started buttoning the shirt with wrong hole, and trying to find a solution at the end, when the problem is at the beginning.

    AjithZ Wednesday, 25 October 2017 09:30 PM

    With the two main political parties working together (even with some conflicts), think this is the correct time for a new constitution or at least amendments to ensure rights of the minorities, devolution of power etc. within a unitary state. Concerns of the Maha Nayaka Theras also must be addressed. We may not get another opportunity. If not addressed now, it can be too late and this can be a burning issue. If that happens, we all will be very very sorry.

    DINGDONG. Wednesday, 25 October 2017 10:13 PM

    NEW CONSTITUTION IS AN ELECTION PROMISE GIVEN TO THE PEOPLE SO .THE PROMISE SHOULD BE FULLFILLED WITHOUT ANY FURTHER DELAY. via DM Android App

    nick Wednesday, 25 October 2017 10:50 PM

    which party u doing to back this time no use coz whichever comes to power going to be doing the same stealing public money unless we set standard for those who wants to contest at least need a degree via DM Android App

    De Silva Thursday, 26 October 2017 12:31 AM

    Your burning issue is " wasa visa nethi ratak "Don't forget you are from the UNP national list. If you don't agree please resign from your seat.

    AM Thursday, 26 October 2017 04:46 AM

    Who is lighting the fire?

    Kadiya Thursday, 26 October 2017 06:20 AM

    You are the guys who are setting the fires one after another and are always against the water the govt. is using to douse them!!!!

    Dhammika Thursday, 26 October 2017 10:43 AM

    Very Correct , Ven . Prelate . This is not the time for new constitutions . If it was election promises what about the looters and their family members who are loitering on the streets and going abroad and spending the ill gotten money . Nothing is happening for the last 2 years due to the weak leadership of the UNP.


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