PM presents 18th Amendment Bill in House
Prime Minister D M Jayaratne presented the Bill titled 18th Amendment
to the Constitution in Parliament yesterday amidst disturbances and
point of orders raised by Opposition members against the Bill.
Accordingly, the Bill is scheduled to be taken for debate today and
the vote is to be taken this evening.
The Prime Minister tabled the Bill and soon after that TNA MP M
Sumanthiram raising a point of order said the Bill has to be presented
to the Provincial Councils before it comes to Parliament.
According to the Constitution, the Bill which affects Provincial
Councils must be referred to the Provincial Councils first and then only
it could come to Parliament, he said. Since the 18th Amendment envisages
to abolish the Provincial Police Commission and Provincial Public
Service Commission, it has to obtain the approval of Provincial
Councils, he said.
Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said that the House must pass
a resolution before the moving of an urgent Bill and that there was no
such resolution passed.
Therefore, this would not become law even if its passed in
He said that the Supreme Court has only power to determine whether
the Bill needs a special majority or referendum to be approved.
As members of both sides were expressing their opinions of the way
the Bill was moved, Prime Minister D M Jayaratne said that the Bill is
not needed to be referred to the Provincial Councils. Speaker Chamal
Rajapaksa said that the Supreme Court determination has not mentioned
any need of the Bill to be referred to the Provincial Councils.
IR, SM and DM