Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday diverse opinions within the government over the 20th Amendment would converge into one voice with necessary amendments being introduced during the committee stage of the debate and there was no problem with regard to obtaining the necessary two-thirds majority for the passage of the Bill.
Addressing newspaper editors and electronic media heads at Temple Trees yesterday, the Prime Minister said various individuals and parties within the government could hold different views aboutthe 20th Amendment and necessary changes would be brought about at the committee stage of the debate. He said the committee appointed by him had also given him a report.
The Prime Minister was confident on mustering the necessary two -hirds majority.
When asked whether he was agreeable to reducing the powers of the Prime Minister, he said smiled and responded that it depends on the person who holds the post.
When asked whether there were any discussions taking place regarding the controversial MCC agreement with the US, the Prime Minister said there were no such talks taking place at the moment and whatever that would happen will be done in full public glare.
When asked about the 13th Amendment to the Constitution that had come up during the virtual summit with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the weekend, the Prime Minister said whatever that is in the constitution has been implemented and justice and fairness to all communities will be ensured when a new constitution is enacted.
He said provincial council elections had been postponed not by this government and it was his government that held elections for the Northern Provincial Council for the first time.
When asked about the ban on the import of turmeric which has led to its high price and whether the government would relax the ban, the Prime Minister said they would not do so since cultivation of turmeric within the county had been promoted and they will safeguard the local farmers by getting them a proper price. The Premier said if they relaxed the ban, the market will be flooded with imports and the local cultivators would fall into difficulty.
He said the government would construct multi-storey housing complexes with 100 units in each in every electorate in the country to provide for those who lack housing facilities in the country.