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Sri Lanka parliamentary consensus needed for reforms, new constitution, freedom: party leaders

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s parliament faces a challenge of working together to reform government, change the constitution to bring back freedom, party leaders said.

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said the parliament faced a challenge of consensus based politics. The United National Party, which emerged the largest party in polls is planning a unity administration with the opposition Sri Lanka Freedom Party of President Maithripala Sirisena.

Wickremesinghe said a number of reforms involving the setting up of executive committees to oversee ministries, district development boards, a parliamentary research office and a budget office would be set up.

Nimal Siripala De Silva from the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, said the election of Karu Jayasuriya as the parliamentary speaker unanimously was a positive development. Jayasuriya was proposed by Wickremesinghe and seconded by de Silva.

He hoped that under a memorandum signed between the Sri Lanka Freedom Party and the United National Party, electoral reforms to end preferential voting, would be completed in a year.

Tamil National Alliance leader R Sampanthan said a new constitution which will restore democracy, plurality, equality and justice to all had to be enacted. He said the dignity of parliament had to be restored.

JVP leader Anura Dissanyake said the parliament represented people of all religions and cultures. The representatives had to speak on behalf of those who were deprived or subject to injustice. (Colombo/Sept01,2015)

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