President to reduce executive powers

15 January 2010 12:58 am - 19     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


By Dianne Silva

President Mahinda Rajapaksa assured he will reduce unnecessary powers of the Executive Presidency and believes that the present election campaign has been degraded from a presentation of political issues to a struggle between classes.

While meeting with a group of English and Tamil Newspapers on Wednesday the President stated that a far greater majority of the Tamil Parties were in support of him, than with the opposition common candidate. “Thondaman, Douglas Devananda, Pillayan, Sidharthan they are all with me. Even certain persons in the TNA have told me in confidence that they support me but are with the TNA simply because they don’t want to divide the party,” the President said in response to a question raised by Daily Mirror online.

When asked by Daily Mirror online if he would reduce the powers of the Executive Presidency, the President replied “I will limit all the unnecessary powers. What have I done with the powers I got? I only got the LTTE banned and stopped the ceasefire.” When probed on the extent to which he would limit his powers he stated “
That parliament will have to decide.”

The President elaborated on the fact that he has never been an ambitious politician. “I have never been an ambitious man- I never had dreams of becoming a politician or the Prime Minister from the time I was a school boy. What I tell all our young politicians is that- be with the people and that is enough. I am a party man if the party tells me to go I will go,” he said.

On matters of constitutional reform the President stated that he would give the people the 13th amendment where the upper house would ensure the rights of the people were protected. “I will give 13 plus 1 with the upper house; with the upper house the rights of the people will be protected. The 13th amendment must transfer the powers to the people. However the Police powers I will not give- ask anyone in Colombo if I they will like it if the police powers were given to any provincial council. All this time I was asking them (the Tamil Parties) for proposals. But this time I am going to present the proposal and tell them “if you want to add anything we will discuss it.” the President said.

With regard to the 17th amendment the President questioned the independence of the independent commissions the amendment suggested be appointed. “This amendment was only passed to keep governments going; who is appointing these independent committees? Politicians will do it. Therefore how can you say they are independent? The President questioned.

The promises of changing the constitution or implementing these things are only done to satisfy politicians- if you give them the 13th amendment then they will want something more then a separate sate likewise it will go on- they cant be satisfied

The President stated that the opposition no longer had a political foothold and therefore had reduced their campaign to that of a class struggle. “This election then has ultimately come down to a class struggle- they have no political issues to talk about. They can’t say I sold any banks or buildings- the money is all there for the people to see. I am a man from the village and I am not ashamed to say it. They say corruption and attribute the buying over of all these small places to me; they don’t talk about me owning land in America, Australia or England because if they did then that puts me into a different class-it puts me into their class,” he said.

The President expressed his confidence of winning the upcoming election. “I am not afraid I have am confident that I will win with a comfortable margin,” he said
On matters of corruption the President questioned why no actions had been taken by the opposition during his tenure in office. “If they had proof why didn’t they bring a no confidence motion against me; they did it for the former President; Chandrika Bandaranayaka but they never presented one against me. For 70 years my family has been in politics-would I spoil my name just for a few bucks,” he said.

When questioned on his foreign policy, if he were to go in for a second term the President said he would follow policy of non-alignment like his predecessors. “Non-aligned not aligned with the west or the east or the gulf, that has always been our policy,” he said. (Daily Mirror online)

  Comments - 19

  • Friday, 15 January 2010 06:29 PM

    This is absolutely hilarious! A few days before the election and he starts talking about this: You can sense the panic.

    Friday, 15 January 2010 08:50 PM

    Fighting a losing battle, despite fantastic pledges ...

    Monday, 18 January 2010 09:01 PM

    All this talk, is till he wins!

    Monday, 18 January 2010 10:23 PM

    Ha! Ha! Ha! This is a really 'honest' statement!

    Monday, 18 January 2010 11:30 AM

    Great Executive powers being reduced !!!!!!!! Thank S.F.
    Why couldn't MR do this for the last Four years and also Activate independent commisions

    Friday, 15 January 2010 01:07 AM

    Didn't we hear this cry when MR was first elected?

    Friday, 15 January 2010 01:17 AM

    Why only now?

    Friday, 15 January 2010 01:27 AM

    The President is repeating what SF says!

    Friday, 15 January 2010 01:29 AM

    There is a saying: fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me! Are we Sri Lankans going to be fooled twice?

    Friday, 15 January 2010 01:34 AM

    Nothing but utter desperation!

    Friday, 15 January 2010 01:37 AM

    Copied again from Fonseka! At this rate, on the 26th, we will have two 'Fonsekas' contesting each other.

    Friday, 15 January 2010 06:37 AM

    Any doubts?

    Friday, 15 January 2010 06:38 AM

    As Amila has commented, why not prove your integrity within next 14 days before the elections? If you do that then we will believe you.

    Friday, 15 January 2010 06:43 AM

    Dear Preident , we believe you and trust you , You are the only man who can and will do it , all other power hungers wont do it for sure
    we salute you ,
    Please do it . dnt be short minded he can not do any thing at this stage the stupid power hungers are looking to grab power and destroy this country , he needs his own parliment and cabinet , Now we understand you move clearly , your decision on presidential election is very correct , otherwise you have to continue with this jumbo cabinet for nother two years , get the power clean it and do the rest

    Friday, 15 January 2010 01:54 AM


    Friday, 15 January 2010 10:52 AM

    Anything to cling to power. what a cheap disgusting thing to happen a week before the election. my only wish is for justice to be served on the 26th.

    Friday, 15 January 2010 07:21 AM

    He is one of the SF follower.....

    Good to see... but useless no brain .... he should have take this decision long ago...

    Friday, 15 January 2010 04:15 PM

    But dear H.E., it's just tooooooooo late!

    Friday, 15 January 2010 11:37 AM

    Why has he waited 4 years to say this as this could have been done straight after the war was over. Is this another promise to be forgotten?

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