By Maheesha Mudugamuwa
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday said the government had not yet decided whether it would go for a brand new constitution or adopt provisions that did not necessitate a referendum.
The PM said so, speaking at the National Conference on Constitutional Reforms at BMICH in Colombo.
The conference was held as a part of outreach efforts in relation to the current constitutional reform process. It was attended by government ministers, academics, NGO representatives, foreign envoys, officials of the Attorney General’s Department and other state institutions. Former Deputy Chief Justice of South Africa Dikgang Moseneke, who is visiting Sri Lanka with a delegation from the Commonwealth Secretariat of the Kingdom also participated.
Leader of the Joint Opposition Parliamentary Group MP Dinesh Gunawardena and Megapolis and Western Development Minister and the leader of Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) Champika Ranawaka were among the notable absentees at the event.
PM Wickremesinghe assured that the key characteristics of the nature of the state would remain unchanged. “We are all agreed that the state cannot be divided.” The provinces would have maximum devolution of power, he said.
He also assured that there was no proposal to take away the foremost place of Buddhism and all religions would have freedom.
Premier Wickremesinghe said the government had not yet decided on the electoral system, the senate and executive powers in relation to the 13th Amendment.
Highlighting the current constitution of the reform process in Sri Lanka, the PM said the current process was different from the two previous ones in 1971 and 1978.