Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe states that political reforms must take place parallel to the economic program so that the role of Parliament is strengthened for all MPs to participate in the legislative process

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday that political reforms must take place parallel to the economic program so that the role of Parliament is strengthened.

“The institution that must be strengthened is the Parliament, while the Government institutions must be free from politicisation. The 22nd Amendment is one step towards achieving this. Strengthening parliamentary sectoral committees is another step,” the Prime Minister said in Parliament.

He said that the sectoral committee system that was in place in Parliament before independence should be re-introduced so that the entire Parliament contributes to policy formulation and governance, regardless of party or opposition.

“The political culture that has developed so far in our country is undergoing a complete change. Nowadays we divide into parties during elections. Even after coming to the Parliament, the divisions remain and grow.

“The Government alone brings orders, formulating policies. The State is in control. The Opposition focuses on opposing the Government. The Opposition has no chance of coming together to formulate policies related to governance in the country,” he said.

Wickremesinghe said that under this committee system, the Government will have to move away from individual opinion and reach a common consensus while the Opposition cannot limit itself to criticism but must contribute to finding solutions.

“If we want to get out of this situation that our country is in today, there should be a change like this in the Parliament. No matter who is in power or who is in the Opposition, the entire Parliament should contribute to the process of building the country,” he said.

He added that many MPs in this Parliament have requested such a program be implemented, especially the young MPs.

“The youth members of the ruling party, who do not have ministerial duties, as well as the youth members of the Opposition, have repeatedly expressed their opinions on the importance of making a collective contribution to the effort to build the country,” Prime Minister said.

He added that the sectoral oversight committees that were introduced during the previous Government must also be revived. “Through the sectoral committee system, the entire Parliament joins the process of uplifting the country, regardless of party or opposition. Also, the youth community, scholars and experts are provided an opportunity to participate in these committees.”

“By successfully implementing this system, on the one hand, there will be a huge change in our political culture. On the other hand, there will be a support base to build the future of the country. A solid foundation is being built for the purpose of creating a developed Sri Lanka,” he added.

The Prime Minister said that the sectoral committees must be established as a matter of urgency.

Courtesy:Daily FT