ECONOMYNEXT – Faced with a pandemic the government’s priority should be enacting laws to deal with the health crisis and not bring in Constitutional changes, the Leader of the Opposition told Parliament on the second day of the debate on the 20th Amendment.
“The priority of the government should be a new Health Act, a new Quarantine Law and tougher laws against the drug trade and not these Constitutional changes,” Sajith Premadasa said.
Premadasa talked about the doctrine of separation of powers and the tripartite system of government used in most democratic countries of the world.
There has to be a separation of powers between the legislature, the judiciary and the executive.
This 20th Amendment deals a death blow to democracy as it removes all the checks and balances between these three institutions.
“This Amendment creates a Constitutional Monarch.”
Under Buddhist doctrine there is a warning given to rulers not to take decisions to grab power and seek power.
Premadasa reminded the Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardene that he himself at one time was a strong campaigner against the Executive Presidency.
“We should not either make the President a puppet or the Prime Minister a Peon. Instead, we should balance and share power,” he said.
This Amendment is being brought to cater to and suit an individual, he said. (Colombo, October 22, 2020)
Reported by Arjuna Ranawana