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Catholic Church opposes 20A calls for new constitution to be drafted

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Roman Catholic Church is joining the chorus of opposition to the proposed 20th Amendment to the Constitution warning that it is concentrating power in the Executive.

“We need to emphasize that concentration of power in an individual does not augur well for a democratic, socialist republic,” the Catholic Bishops Conference said in a statement issued last evening October 13.

The Bishops pointed out that the Executive Presidency has been the “bone of contention since it was created in 1978.”

It noted that all elected presidents since 1994 vowed to abolish the executive presidency using the powers vested in it and transfer power to the Parliament but none had the political will to do so “for reasons not unknown to the people.”

The Bishops proposed that an Independent Constitutional Council made up of men and women of proven integrity to draft a new constitution that will “ensure a transparent democracy, the rule of law and the equality of all citizens.”

The statement said that a two-thirds majority of MPs does not manifest the true conscience of the people.

“The 20th Amendment should not be proceeded with in its entirety, and instead a new constitution needs to be the national priority at this moment,” the statement concluded.
(Colombo October 14, 2020)
Reported by Arjuna Ranawana

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