MPs hold online panel discussion on 20th Amendment | Daily News

MPs hold online panel discussion on 20th Amendment

An online (Zoom) panel discussion on the proposed 20th Amendment to the Constitution, themed ‘After the 20th Amendment’, was held with the participation of Government and Opposition Parliamentarians, civil and political activists, and academics, yesterday. The event was organised by the Department of Social Studies of the Open University of Sri Lanka.

State Minister Susil Premajayantha, Parliamentarians Dr. Harsha De Silva and Dr. Harini Amarasuriya, Dr. Dayan Jayatileka, Prof. Ranjith Bandara, and Duminda Nagamuwa of the Frontline Socialist Party facilitated as the panelists in this discussion.

 Expressing his views, State Minister Premajayantha said the main purpose of moving the 20th Amendment is to reverse the problematic situation created by the 19th Amendment. According to him, the powers of this amendment would remain within the limits of the 1978 Republican Constitution and would not pave the way for an autocratic rule.

 Dr. De Silva said the proposed amendment is solely an attempt to give extreme powers to one particular group and therefore, the Samagi Jana Balawegaya group he represents completely against this move. “We will stand by with the 19th amendment”, he added. As a political party which follows the democratic path, the Samagi Jana Balawegaya, would take every possible effort to defeat this amendment in the Parliament, he added.

 Jathika Jana Balawegaya MP Dr. Amarasuriya said if this amendment is passed, the country would face a suppression by the ruling party. Therefore, the country would move backward and the democratic borders will also be limited. “This can be seen as a reflection of the original intentions of the 1978 constitution”, she stressed.

 Dr. Jayatileka, Prof. Bandara, and Nagamuwa also expressed their views at this discussion. Dr. Athulasiri Samarakoon coordinated the event, which was moderated by Lecturer Sumith Chaaminda.