ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s cabinet of ministers has approved a proposed 21st amendment to the constitution, Tourism Minister Harin Fernando said, which will likely see the president’s executive powers pruned if passed by parliament.
Fernando tweeted Monday June 20 that the amendment was tabled and passed at the weekly cabinet meeting held that afternoon. He thanked Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe for pushing the amendment through.
— Harin Fernando (@fernandoharin) June 20, 2022
The 21st amendment was supposed to be taken up in cabinet on June 06 but was delayed as, according to media reports, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had asked the minister of justice not to take it up at that week’s meeting.
The final draft of the amendment has yet to be publicised.
Several parties have proposed different versions of a 21st amendment, with at least one of them containing provisions to abolish the executive presidency in its entirety.
Presented as a private member’s bill by MP Rajapakshe prior to his being sworn in as Justice Minister, the original version of this draft amendment proposes, among other things, a constitutional council chaired by the speaker of parliament and comprising the prime minister, the leader of the opposition and others.