UNP is ready to join all progressive forces to defeat the efforts of the present government to suppress democratic rights of the people through the 20th amendment, UNP Deputy Leader Ruwan Wijewardene said yesterday.
Mr. Wijewardene said his party condemns the effort made by the government to politicise all institutions such as the judiciary, police, and the entire state sector. "History has borne witness to similar errors which were made in the past. It would be a historical error if the same mistake is made once again," Mr. Wijewardene said.
"We condemn this effort made by the government to strengthen its camp by suppressing the rights of the people, which were restored by the 19th Amendment," he added.
"The 20th Amendment makes the Executive President a person who is not bound by the law. Auditing of important state sector institutions will not be possible if this piece of legislation is enacted. President will have the power to dissolve Parliament annually under this legislation. Can the country afford to have general elections every year?
"It will also help people with dual citizenship to come to Parliament. Accordingly pro-LTTE forces would have access to Parliament in such a scenario. Will those in the present government accept the responsibility in such an eventuality?" Mr. Wijewardene questioned.
He said the SLFP should state it's stance on the 20th Amendment as it was it's leader former President Maithripala Sirisena who pioneered the 19th amendment. "Allowing those who have been convicted of murder and do not respect the constitution to come to Parliament had earned a black mark for the country" he added.
Also, Mr. Wijewardene questioned the government on certain decisions made and campaigns that have been launched lately. He questioned as to why the government was not focusing on banning of imports of beef if it is planning to ban the slaughtering of cattle. "Government should state as to what it's real intention is behind banning slaughtering of cattle," he said. (Yohan Perera)