Sri Lanka should change constitution for strong government: President
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka should change the constitution and overhaul proportional representation elections to giver stronger powers to a stable government to carry out its program, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said.
He said Sri Lanka’s constitution has been changed 19 times.
“There are many uncertainties and conflicts in the constitution.” President Rajapaksa said.
“We have to change the constitution to protect the sovereignty, independence and security of the country.”
He said Sri Lanka’s proportional representation system should also be changed to ‘reflect direct representation’ of people.
“A parliament which cannot carry out program and his hostage to extremist elements is not good for a country,” Rajapaksa said.
“A strong executive, a strong legislature that reflects the sovereignty of the people and an independent judiciary should be brought through a constitutional change.”
Sri Lanka’s current constitution was brought by President J R Jayewardene who had a 4/5 the majority, denied opposition leadership to a minority party.
Though he opened an economy that was closed after the collapse of the Bretton Woods system, Jayewardene failed to reform the central bank, leading to steep currency falls and inflation.
He also changed the constitution to benefit his administration and strengthen its powers, going against the fundamental principle that constitutions should restrain the state to increase the freedoms and sovereignty of the people.
The Jayewardene constitution also undermined the independence of the judiciary which was fixed by the last 19th amendment. (Colombo/Jan03/2020)