Jayampathy, Sumanthiran reject allegations | Daily News
Expert Panel report of the Constitutional Amendments

Jayampathy, Sumanthiran reject allegations

UNP MP and Constitutional Lawyer Dr.Jayampathy Wickramaratne and TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran rejected outright the allegations that they muddled in the Expert Panel report of the Constitutional Amendments.

Each of them making personal explanations in Parliament on Friday said they at no point forced their opinions into the documents submitted by the experts.

MP Sumanthiran also plainly rejected the allegation of forging a signature of a member in the Panel of Experts.

He said six members the Panel had submitted one document and two members had submitted another document, while the other two members did not subscribe to either of them.

“There are no signatures of any one on any of these documents. The experts agreed to those documents via email. The question of forging any one’s signature does not arise at all,” he said.

He said the Steering Committe (SC) at its last meeting requested the entire panel to see if they can present one single document within two weeks’ time.

“The SC was also conscious that you can’t force experts to agree on anything. Chamindry Saparamadu, who was nominated to the panel by JO MP Dinesh Gunwardena and Prof. Camena Gunaratne, who was suggested by me, had agreed on one document. We had no input in the documents submitted by the experts. I perused the document submitted by the six experts and found that there are many matters in that with which I don’t agree, but that I will take up at the deliberations of the SC. It is the SC that is tasked with the preparation of draft constitution. Experts are there to advice. No underhand thing is going on here,” he explained.

Both Sumanthiran and Dr.Wickramaratne also brought to the attention of the House that several members in the Expert Panel were being attacked and insulted via the social media.

“Some experts have been put in peril and threats have been made. All that is unwarranted and I regret that some members of the House too contributed to this on Thursday” Sumanthiran said.

Agreeing with him, Dr.Wickramaratne said, “Expert panel was appointed as of the nomination of various parties and they hold independent opinions. They only assist the SC in drafting the Constitution. If the experts are attacked in this manner via the social media, no expert will come forward to assist in any work related to Parliament in the future”.

“There was also an allegation that we try to bring in a federal constitution to divide the country. Leftists always fought against dividing the country. All the leftists in the North were either killed or forcefully removed by the LTTE. Some abandoned the country. The SC interim report clearly states that Sri Lanka will be a unitary state that cannot be divided and even additional safeguards were proposed in that regard. I personally proposed to include a provision that the Centre must have the power to dissolve the provincial councils or take over their powers if any PC acts against the unity, territorial integrity and sovereignty of the country,” he further commented. 


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