COLOMBO (EconomyNext) – A constitutional change in Sri Lanka without provisions for depoliticizing the public service and requiring the President to act on the advice of the Prime Minister will be a hollow deceit practised on the people, a legislator said.
"The government does not have a majority in this house," M A Sumanthiran, representing Sri Lanka’s Tamil National Alliance told parliament.
"Using that as a ploy there is a move to bring in committee stage amendments to negate the entire crux of reducing the executive powers of the president, which the President himself wants to do, which the people of this country has mandated him to do."
‘And if the parliament was to even try that today that will be a serious violation of the mandate granted by the people."
He said a clause allowing the Prime Minister to advice the President and second requiring a constitutional council of 10 persons who will oversee the public sector to have 7 members who are not members of a political party were now being opposed, by the opposition members.
The Supreme Court has already allowed the clauses.
In the case of non-political members in the constitutional council the Supreme Court had upheld it twice, the first in the 17th amendment.
There was now a move to bring a committee stage amendment to make to make all members, parliamentarians, when even being a member of a political party was a disqualification, Sumanthiran said.
"Members of this side of the house, are now propounding a theory that all the members of parliament who are necessarily members of a political party, to sit in the constitutional council," he said.
"So the whole process, the whole objective of depoliticizing this body will be totally lost."
"Without the advice clause, without the constitutional council being what is in the draft bill, it will be taking the people for a ride.
"We might pass something that is totally hollow which has no content in it. I urge the members of this house not to practice that deceit on the people of this country…"