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20A draft likely to be submitted to Cabinet this week: SLPP

1 September 2020 01:51 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) yesterday said the draft of the 20th Amendment to the Constitution will likely be submitted to Cabinet this week and that any of the features in the 19A that require a referendum will not be changed from it.

Speaking at the weekly SLPP news briefing, Party Chairman Minister Professor G.L.Peiris said they will try to submit the draft 20A to Cabinet this Wednesday.

He said a referendum is required if the term of both the President and Parliament is to be increased to six from five.

“We will not try to change any of these features that require a referendum. The President is also strongly against any move to get his term increased,” he said.

When asked whether a special post will be created to accommodate former president Maithripala Sirisena, Minister Peiris said, “There is no such discussion so far or any proposal to that effect among the proposed reforms.”

However, he said the reform in 19A which prevented the President from dissolving Parliament before it completes four and a half years, would be removed.

Asked whether the Right to Information (RTI) Act will be reformed, Minister Peiris said the constitutional reforms had no effect on a Parliamentary Act.

“Right to information is a feature in a democracy. We have no intention to reform the RTI Act which is not a part of the Constitution,” he said.

Meanwhile, he said the SLPP which won three consecutive elections is making arrangements to steer ahead as a national party which is not limited to one ethnic group.

He said the general election results showed that the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has lost its ground in the North and East and therefore, the alliance is no longer the sole representative of the Tamil people in the region.

“The TNA lost as much as 200,000 votes due to its unreserved support given to the Yahapalana Government without paying any attention to the people’s plights. Now there is a discussion on whether the longest alive language is Tamil or first settlers in Sri Lanka are Tamils. What we need today is a change in the attitude and not vindictive remarks. We invite everyone to gather around the SLPP instead of political parties that have ethnic or racial identities,” Minister Peiris said. (Lahiru Pothmulla)

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