Govt. should repeal 19A - Former PUCSL Chairman | Daily News


Govt. should repeal 19A - Former PUCSL Chairman

Former Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) Chairman and legal luminary Dr. Jayatissa de Costa PC yesterday told the Daily News that the present Government should repeal the 19th Amendment.

Political parties that respect the mandate of the people and democracy as a whole, should also back the process of amending the 19th Amendment, Dr Costa said in an exclusive interview with the Daily News.

“It is indeed a point of the sine qua non element of the Government’s victory over the previous regime,” said Dr. Costa, adding,” the political parties should back the process of repealing the 19th Amendment, which had sparked a constitutional crisis in the country during the Good Governance Government.”

“The people had to suffer chaos because of the situation created by the 19th Amendment,” he said.

“The people were forced to endure large scale-struggles between Government branches during that period with the previous regime’s President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe showing disdain of their powers in the context of the 19th Amendment, as neither side backed down on their powers.

The people have dislodged that Government giving an unprecedented two- thirds majority power in Parliament to the present Government.

“The President had asked that this kind of power be granted to him at the time of the election so that the requisite changes can be made to carry out his Saubhagya Dekma policy statement in full force. This is a promise he had made to the public,” he pointed out.

“The people now rely on the Government to put to good use the power given to it to fulfill these promises,” he said.

Asked if he thinks that the 19th Amendment should be repealed, Dr Costa said, “I think it is imperative, a have-to do situation for the government”.

“The UNP introduced or rather rushed the 19th Amendment, for their own sustenance with an aim to acquire the powers of the President, which they were in no position to get,” he said.

“They brought it mainly to attack particular members of a family in Sri Lankan politics. Hence they brought laws such as barring dual citizens entering Parliament. Most countries allow dual citizens to enter Parliament,” he said.

“There are several clauses that contradict each other in the 19th amendment in the sense of the Constitution, such as the Prorogation of Parliament, which must be resolved, among other confusions,” he added.


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