PM, Justice Minister to meet today | Daily News
To discuss proposals on 21A:

PM, Justice Minister to meet today

Justice Minister Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will meet today to discuss the proposals and views so far submitted to the 21st Amendment by the political parties in Parliament, the Mahanayake Theras and Civil Society with a focus to prepare what would be a Constitutional Amendment Bill to whittle down the powers of the Executive President.

Sources close to Dr. Rajapakshe and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe yesterday told the Daily News that the Rajapakshe had obtained the views and proposals for the Amendment from various Civil Society organisations, political party leaders, scholars and intellectuals among others.

The Political parties, a section of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna, Sri Lanka Freedom Party, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna and Tamil National Alliance among the other parties have provided their proposals to the Bill. However, the Opposition, led by Sajith Premadasa’s Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) is yet to provide their proposals to the Bill.

The SJB leader had declared they will support the so-called 21st Amendment, which shall not be an Amendment brought in aiming to keep President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in power against the voice of the people.

According to Justice Ministry sources, the Minister is working hard to deliver the Bill to the Cabinet on Monday so that it can be debated in Parliament the next day or so.

Since introducing the 21st Amendment Bill, Dr. Rajapakshe has briefed hundreds of religious leaders, political party leaders, and members of Civil Society organizations, the sources said.

He underlined that introducing this Bill is essential for restoring political stability and rebuilding the country’s economy.

When we called him yesterday, Rajapakshe stated he was in a meeting with another civil society group to discuss their perspectives on the 21st Constitutional Amendment.

Earlier in the day, the Minister met with Muslim Society Civil Groups. Javed Youssef, one of their activists and a lawyer offered four amendment ideas to the 21st Amendment.

They have proposed, among other things, that the President not hold any portfolio other than that of Minister of Defense, and that the ability to remove the Prime Minister be exercised by a majority of Parliament members rather than the President.

Dr. Rajapakshe stated that the 20th Amendment deposed the Elections, Police, Bribery, and Public Service Commissions.

It did away with the Procurement and Audit Commissions.

They are anticipated to be reinstated by the 21st Amendment. He stated that the 21st Amendment to the Constitution was drafted to avoid the need for a referendum. In the future, a Parliamentary Committee should be formed to draft a new Constitution.


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