Written by Tharushan Fernando
30 Apr, 2015 | 10:05 pm
Views were expressed on the 19th Amendment to the Constitution at various media briefings and meetings held on Thursday.
Venerabe Muruththetuwe Ananda Thera stated that Ranil Wickremesinghe was only trying to achieve his own objectives through this. He further added that the PM has no idea about the effects this Constitution would have on the country and this is why the shortcomings of this Constitution needs to be addressed and presented to the people in a positive way.
Venerable Medagoda Abhayatissa Thera noted that these amendments were presented in such a way that media is controlled in a dictatorial manner and that some of these proposals were removed due to the pressure exerted by the opposition. He further noted that President Maithripala Sirisena has created an opinion that it was Ranil Wickremesinghe who removed this clause included by those who wanted to suppress the media; that thePM and his followers came with a knife to stab but since the knife was taken away and thrown, the current situation had to be accepted.
Former Minister of Tourism,Nandana Gunathilaka noted that the Bribery Commission was given more powers through the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. He further noted that within this legal system, there is no belief that the law will be tightly enforced against the stealing of public property. He further added that the death penalty can be imposed on those who are guilty of drug trafficking and that there is a need for a stronger legal system. He further stated that, as a political force,the country reached a juncture – to adhere to a new mixed electoral system.
Minister of Power and Energy, Palitha Range Bandara stated that many who contested for the presidency said that they would change
J. R’s Constitution of 1978 within twenty four hours of being elected and that it was said they would abolish the Executive Presidency. However, he added that all those who said so continued to stay on in office for two terms; and the last president, Mahinda Rajapaksa did not stop at two. He added that this was the reason that the former president brought in the 18th Amendment to the Constitution. He also added that President Maithripala had stated he would work towards reducing the powers of the executive presidency – and he fulfilled this task with only one vote against the change in constitution.
Convener of the National Movement for a Just Society, Venerable Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera noted that it was the Executive President himself who worked most to abolish the Executive Presidency and that there is one more victory to achieve – that is the change of electoral system through the 20th Amendment to the Constitution.
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