Some 110 civil society organisations and trade unions today signed a 14-point people’s pledge with the United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG) for a fair, democratic and people-friendly Constitution.
Prime Minister and United National Party (UNP) Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe signed the agreement on behalf of the UNFGG under the patronage of National Movement for Social Justice Leader Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera, Ministers Karu Jayasooriya, Patali Champika Ranawaka and Rajitha Senarathne.
Included in the pledge were constitutional amendments, the abolishing of the executive presidency and the establishment of parliamentary democracy through a reformed electoral system based on a mix of the first-past-the-post and the proportional representation systems in place of the preferential voting system.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who addressed the gathering at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute, said the country's current vibrant environment of peace, harmony and freedom will continue under the UNP government.
“People are not even aware that an election is taking place in the country because of the unprecedented level of freedom in the country under our government,” Mr.Wickremesinghe said.
Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera said it was of no use trying to mend and patch up the existing constitution because the time was ripe for a new constitution to replace the version currently in operation.
The organisations proposed for the implementation of independent commissions under the 19th Amendment and the setting up of the National Audit Bill and the Right to Information Act.
They underscored the need for human rights in line with international human rights standards and the expansion and strengthening of civil, economic, political, cultural, social, women's and children's rights.
The people’s pledge also called for national policies for all sectors and the establishment of reconciliation, acceleration of the ongoing investigations into financial crimes, bribery and corruption. (Piyumi Fonseka)
Pix by Kithsiri de Mel