Minister of Media and Information Keheliya Rambukwella yesterday said the 13th Amendment is part of the Constitution and the Members of Parliament are obliged to protect the Constitution. If there are obstacles to impediment public service such obstacles could be removed.
“The Constitutions are not rigid and inflexible documents and it could be amended from time to time to suit the needs of the country and the people. India being the largest democracy in the world has amended its Constitution more than 200 times,” Rambukwella said addressing a media conference yesterday.
Responding to questions raised by the media personnel on the opinion being built up in the country against the 13th Amendment, the Minister said that the Sri Lanka is a democratic country and the people and the people’s representatives have the liberty to express their personal opinions.
He said that United People’s Freedom Alliance is a combination of 21 political parties and it has groups with different shades of opinion. The Minister said that the recent Provincial Council elections presented the best example in this regard. He said that different parties in the Alliance contested the elections independently and joined together to form the Administrations after the elections.
Explaining further, the Minister said that the Government has not taken a decision about the 13th Amendment and the President has repeatedly mentioned the Government’s intention is to implement 13+ and by the reference of “Plus” it is envisaged to converge all minority groups in the provinces in a Senate.
The Minister said that when he was with the President in New Delhi during the President’s visit to India, the President explained this mechanism to the Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh.
The Minister said that it is to expedite the devolution process that a Parliamentary Select Committee has been appointed and the President without using his Executive Powers has pledged to implement the proposals presented by the PSC, and the Members of Parliament have been given the authority to discuss, deliberate and find the best solution.
The Minister said that the Tamil National Alliance however keep on uttering different opinions of their participation and nonparticipation in the PSC, seeks assistance from various outside parties who cannot do anything, despite the solution being available within the Parliament itself. The Minister said that the devolution process is being delayed solely by the vacillating stance of the TNA.
COURTESY: FINANCIAL TIMES