Sri Lanka’s premier trade chamber the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) yesterday observed the enactment of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution “very important and a positive step.”
A statement issued by the CCC praised the crucial roles played by the President, Prime Minister and leaders of all political parties in arriving at a consensus, in spite of diverse views that prevailed initially.
The CCC also said it welcomed the salient points in the 19th Amendment relating to repealing of the 18th Amendment, setting up of a Constitutional Council and Independent Commissions and recognizing right to information as a fundamental right of citizens.
However, the trade chamber cautioned about the committee stage amendment to increase the number of elected parliamentarians to the Constitutional Council, saying that the move could compromise its independence.
“…the original clause would have served the interests of the country and its people better than the one on which the President, Prime Minister and government were finally forced to compromise on,” the CCC noted.
Originally the Constitutional Council was proposed to be formed with only non-political members. But the opposition rallied against this and finally a consensus was reached to have seven parliamentarians and three non-political figures in the council.
The trade chamber in a previous statement urged the President and government to do the necessary amendments to the Constitution and hold the general elections expeditiously.
The chamber said the uncertain political environment prevailing was affecting business confidence and denting foreign investments.
The CCC, a confederation of 8,500 Sri Lankan business entities from small and medium to large conglomerates—21 business councils, 21 trade associations, 22 regional, sectoral and other chambers and with affiliations to over 120 international chambers across the globe, is recognized as the country’s premier business chamber.