Basil fights back to save his political future as RW pushes for 21A today

* The committee that drafted the amendment will also be present at the meeting today

In a move to push for the 21st amendment to be accepted by the party leaders today, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will lobby for it at the party leaders' meeting at 3.30 pm today in order to reduce the powers of the President and also remove dual citizens from holding a parliamentary seat, which in turn will end Basil Rajapaksa's political career in Sri Lanka.

The party leaders who have already been given a draft of the 21st amendment for them to study can raise any proposals or objections on the clauses today so that a final draft can be prepared and submitted at the next cabinet meeting.

The committee that has drafted the 21st amendment will also be present at the meeting today afternoon to note the changes that will be proposed by the party leaders and incorporate them in the final draft.

The Daily Mirror learns that while SLPP Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa may not attend the meeting, he will send a representative to be present.

However, despite Mahinda Rajapaksa being the SLPP Leader, it is learnt that Basil Rajapaksa is the man now calling the shots among the majority in the party and is lobbying against the 21A so that he can save his political career in Sri Lanka. The SLPP is specifically trying to leave out clauses such as the abolition of the dual citizenship as well as the reduction of the President's powers on Basil's insistence and is aiming not to pass it when it is presented before the Parliament.

Other party leaders have already consented to the 21A but may propose some changes. However, all other leaders are of the view that the President's powers must be reduced as a way of further strengthening the Parliament as well as discontinuing dual citizens from holding future parliamentary seats.

Senior UNP sources have also requested law enforcement authorities to probe as to who carried out a protest outside the Prime Minister's Office yesterday, as the Gota Go Gama protesters had said it was not their protesters. UNP Seniors suspect and alleged that the SLPP was now trying to create protests against the Prime Minister in a way to pressure him against presenting the 21A.

If the 21A is approved by the party leaders today, even with the changes they propose, it will be presented to the cabinet again. Once approved by the cabinet of ministers, it will then be presented to Parliament for a vote.

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe is already in discussions with all party leaders to keep the two clauses on reducing the President's powers and the dual citizenship clause in order to minimise the Rajapaksas representation in the government. (JAMILA HUSAIN)

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