President Wickremesinghe Asks Prime Minister Gunawardena to inquire from political parties in the Opposition about their formal position on the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe has instructed Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena to inquire from political parties in the Opposition regarding their final stance on the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution.

The President has asked the PM to seek their opinion and inform him of their decision immediately.

Wickremesinghe has instructed Gunawardena after it was revealed that various groups in the Opposition had expressed contradictory views on the proposed 22A on several occasions.

The President had observed that the breakaway group from the Government has expressed one view while the group led by the leader of the Opposition, Sajith Premadasa had expressed yet another view in parliament regarding the matter.

A parliamentary debate on the 22A is scheduled to be held today and tomorrow. However, it is unclear if the debate will go ahead as it has also been reported that groups within the Government have opposing views on the constitutional amendment. But despite the disagreements, the Ministerial Consultative Committee on Justice, Prison Affairs and Constitutional Reforms that met on Tuesday had agreed to debate hold a debate on the 22A.

This was following the approval by the Ministerial Consultative Committee chaired Minister Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe.

Briefing those present in terms of the changes intended by the Amendment, the Minister stated that Amendments have been made under the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution going beyond what was included in the 19th Amendment to ensure democracy.

Accordingly, a salient feature is that under Article 41C the President shall appoint the Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka subjected to the approval of the Constitutional Council. This was not incorporated in the 19th Amendment, the Minister stated.

Furthermore, under the 19th Amendment, the power for an Executive President to hold Defence, Mahaweli and Environment portfolios has been limited to Defence under the 22nd Amendment.

Committee Members, Deputy Chairperson of Committees Angajan RamanathanHon, State Ministers Sisira Jayakody and Diana Gamage, and Members of Parliament Thalatha Athukorala, Dilan Perera, Chandima Weerakkody, Jayantha Samaraweera, Sarathi Dushmantha, Mohomad Muzammil, M. A. Sumanthiran, Charles Nirmalanathan, Dr. Upul Galappaththi, Kokila Gunawardena, Premnath C. Dolawatte, Nimal Piyathissa, Gunathilaka Rajapaksha, Upul Mahendra Rajapaksha, M. Rameshwaran, Sahan Pradeep Withana, Weerasumana Weerasinghe, Gevindu Kumaratunga, Lalith Varna Kumara and Officials were present at the Committee meeting held.

Courtesy:Daily FT