- Romesh de Silva PC to head committee
By Sandun A Jayasekera
The Cabinet has decided to appoint an Expert Committee headed by Romesh de Silva PC to prepare the preliminary drafts for a new Constitution, co-cabinet spokesman and Minister Udaya Gammanpila said yesterday.
The committee comprises of Romesh De Silva PC (Chairman), Gamini Marapana PC, Manohara De Silva PC, Sanjeewa Jayawardena PC, Prof. Nazeema Kamardeen, Dr. A Sarveswaran, Samantha Ratwatte PC, Prof. Wasantha Senevirathne and Prof. G.L. Peiris. Though the government expects to introduce the 20th Amendment to the Constitution on a priority basis repealing the 19th Amendment, it will take another two months and the new Constitution will come after a minimum of two years, Minister Gammanpila said. He told the weekly cabinet news briefing that the gazette notification containing the draft of the 20th amendment was to be issued yesterday (03) and Justice Minister Ali Sabry could table the Amendments only after two weeks from the date of publication of the gazette.
In response to the Daily Mirror, Minister Gammanpila said the 20th Amendment will be subjected to a public discussion for two weeks and the government was ready to incorporate proposals from the public depending on their relevance. “The passing of the 20A would take another two weeks if and when any person or organisation petitions the Supreme Court for a review and ruling on the Amendments. However, after the approval of the Attorney General and Legal Draftsman, the Amendments were submitted by Justice Minister Ali Sabry PC for approval on Wednesday to the cabinet for which the Ministers duly gave the nod,” he added.
Responding to another query from the media on the 20th A, Minister Gammanpila said anyone was free to peruse the draft of 20th Amendment thoroughly after the gazette was released and make their comments.
“Wait for another few hours until the gazette is released. You can see what legislation contained in the 19th Amendment have been incorporated in the draft of the 20 A,” he said.
Asked by the Daily Mirror as to why this uneasy haste to bring the 20th A while the government was in the process of introducing a fully fledged new Constitution, Minister Gammanpila responded saying that the people have given the government a huge mandate to do this.
- Though govt expects to introduce the 20th Amendment to the Constitution on a priority basis repealing the 19th Amendment, it will take another two months and the new Constitution will come after a minimum of two years