- Says some amendments are essential
- No abolishing of independent commissions
- Can’t come up with excuses now since we have a two-thirds majority
By Lahiru Pothmulla
Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Chairman G.L. Peiris said yesterday when it came to either amending the Constitution in its entirety or changing the 19th Amendment to Constitution, it would only be carried out after much thought and consideration.
He told a news conference held at the party headquarters in Battaramulla following the astounding victory at the general election that there were several alternatives to be adopted when changing the Constitution.
“Clearly, some amendments are required. It cannot continue in this manner when it comes to governing the country. After President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was elected, the 19A prevented him from dissolving parliament to make way for a government which could support his programme of work while former opposition MPs urged that the dissolved parliament be re-convened. From the results of the general election, it is evident that the government people needed after the new President was elected was quite different to that of the previous parliament. These things should be changed. If needed, the new government has the power to amend the Constitution,” Prof. Peiris said.
When asked whether the Independent Commissions would be abolished, he said there was no need to do so. “The intention of the Independent Commissions are to maintain apolitical institutions with appointments made by the Constitutional Council (CC) which should also be independent. Any one can see that these purposes had not been served. To achieve these targets, some reforms are necessary,” Prof. Peiris said.
Commenting on the election victory, he said the people gave overwhelming support to the SLPP not only because of the pledges it had made but also because they had already seen how the President had managed the country.
“President Rajapaksa managed the COVID-19 situation efficiently with the help of the health and security officials. During the past seven months, programmes have also been launched to eradicate the drug menace and underworld activities. The people placed their faith in the ability and the practicality of the President’s action plan,” he said.
Prof. Peiris said the party took up the two-thirds majority as a challenge because the people have given it ‘complete power’ to solve their concerns.
He said there would no room for excuses such as obstacles placed by other political parties including various conditions and demands since the new government has a majority in parliament.
“The government has all the power but that does not mean it will behave in an arrogant manner. The government will be humble. Currently there does not appear to be a strong opposition and we hope they will use their representation in parliamentary committees include COPE and COPA to fulfil the duty of the opposition,” Prof. Peiris said.
Meanwhile, he said the TNA would no longer be able to argue that they are the true and sole representatives of the Tamil people. “The TNA has lost its significant voter base mainly because the TNA continued to side with the UNP instead of the people,” he said.
SLPP General Secretary Sagara Kariyawasam was also present at the news briefing.
- The government has all the power but that does not mean it will behave in an arrogant manner. The government will be humble