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Dullas wants parliament to discuss new constitution in place of 20A

The sun sets over the Parliament at Shri Jayewardenepura

ECONOMYNEXT – Parliament time being spent debating the divisive 20th amendment to the constitution might be better spent discussing a brand new constitution, government MP and Minister of Power Dullas Alahapperuma said.

“The 19th amendment is the past and the proposed 20th amendment is the present. What are we doing? We are taking up time for a debate between the past and the present,” Alahapperuma told parliament today.

Given the unprecedented mandate given to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who in the run-up to the presidential polls promised a new constitution, the house must have a productive dialogue about the future of the country, the minister said.

He further noted that the 233-year-old constitution of America has been amended only 27 times, and the 119-year-old Constitution of Australia has only been amended nine times while Japan has not amended its constitution in 72 years.

Stressing the importance of a scientific approach to constitution-making, Alahapperuma said Sri Lanka has seen three constitutions in 73 years, with the third and current constitution being amended 20 times in just 42 years.

“We should accept this reality whatever political ideologies we follow. The people of this country gave a huge mandate to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa for a new constitution. Let us have a discussion on a new constitution,” he said. (Colombo/Oct21/2020)


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