Mahinda, Opposition Leader challenges PM to seek public mandate for Federal constitution
( Courtesy of www.newsfirst.lk)
A debate took place in the constitution assembly today after Pro-LTTE PM Ranil Wickremesinghe presented a report prepared by the so called Panel of Experts comprised with Federal separatist mindset, on constitutional proposals.
Ranil addressing the assembly stated that it is up to the assembly to decide the future course of action and what needs to be done with the reports that were tabled.
Responding to a question raised by Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa, PM Wickremesinghe revealed that the Steering committee appointed to draft a new constitution had received this report from a panel of so called experts who are biased to separatists Federalism.
The Hon. Opposition leader Mr Mahinada Rajapaksa noted that the members need a number of days to study the proposals that were tabled in the assembly today (Jan 11). While questioning the legitimacy of this report, the Opposition Leader also remarked that he has doubts as to whether all members of the Government support this move, he cited the lack of members present on the Government benches as his reasoning for this.
The PM went onto say that if the assembly agrees, they could move on to form a draft of the new constitution and present it before the assembly. He noted that a 2/3rd majority will also be needed for this draft proposal.
Rajapaksa noted that his members had objected to a number of proposals which had been presented. He called on the PM not to hoodwink the people or the Parliament.
MP Dinesh Gunawardene joining the debate noted that his team received a promise by the steering committee to include proposals to amend the electoral process, and stated that they had been duped.
It was then that the Opposition leader proposed this solution “.. Let the UNP present their Federal proposals during the next election, we will bring our proposals oof unitary state constitution. Let us get the people’s mandate for new Constitution
MP Nimal Siripala de Silva joining the debated accused the UNP of using the process of forming a new constitution as a political game. He explained that they have reiterated their proposal that the executive presidency should remain in some shape or form.