PM’s contradictory statements regarding the proposal to abolish executive presidency

PM’s contradictory statements regarding the proposal to abolish executive presidency

Written by Staff Writer

22 Sep, 2019 | 9:43 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st) – Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe made a special statement today at the Temple Trees addressing the UNP activists.

Ranil Wickremesinghe noted that recently a group of civil society representatives met him and requested him to take a cabinet decision to support the 20th amendment. He added that he was handed over a draft bill which was to be referred to the Cabinet by them.

He went on to note that on the 17th MP Sumanthiran revealed that he had discussions with JVP on the abolition of the executive system and had already informed the president that he is willing to support the 20th amendment.

He added that following 19th, the president had contacted him at 8:16 am and questioned him whether he should call for a cabinet meeting to discuss the 20th amendment. PM himself had told the president that the civil society had requested them to do so and that it was appropriate to call for a meeting.

PM added that Ravi Karunanayake had not contacted him that day at around 9:00 am that the cabinet secretary had contacted his secretary stating that the cabinet meeting would be held at 3:00 pm.

Following this message he had contacted the UNP ministers at 2:00 pm and they were against the 20th amendment.

PM went on to note that at the beginning of the meeting, he had informed the Cabinet Secretary in the presence of the President that there was no agreement among the Ministers, and that submitting the Cabinet Bill would be useless.

Finally, they had decided that it was appropriate to leave the final decision to each party.

PM went on to note that if an issue exists regarding the statements of the members of the Cabinet, it should be discussed in the Cabinet and failure to do so would violate cabinet tradition.

PM went on to note that he was merely citing what had occurred and he does not intend to insult or rebuke anyone.

Even though the Prime Minister made such a statement 3 days after the Cabinet meeting was convened, his statements appear contradictory when one looks back on what the UNP  Cabinet Ministers had to say following the meeting on the 19th of this month.

UNP Minister Harin Fernando noted that president had no involvement in the matter; it was carried out based on a request of an unknown individual.

Deputy Leader, Minister Sajith Premadasa noted that sudden meeting and the proposal for the abolishment of the executive presidency is due to “Sajith-Phobia”. He sarcastically questioned how could anyone call for the abolishment of the executive presidency when a presidential election is already announced.

Minister Rauff Hakeem, Leader of SLMC noted that Prime Minister’s conduct would make the UNP seem weak as the gazette had been already issued for an election.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has resorted to nadir political tactics over the years at each instance his leadership was challenged.

When information regarding the bond-scam was being revealed by the media, the PM vowed in Parliament that the system in which the bonds are issued will be changed.

But in reality, attempts were made through the “Pitipana Committee” appointed by the Prime Minister to sweep the issue under the carpet.

Through the 19th Amendment to the constitution Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe who was defeated in over to 26 elections at different levels, attempted to snatch the power of the executive.

Laws and regulations were created using people such as M.A Sumanthiran and Dr Jayampathi Wickremeratne to ensure that his position was protected.

The end result – Utter political chaos!

When the voice of the party became stronger that there should be a leadership change, as the party did not recover from its losing streak, the Prime Minister said one thing but did something else.

At almost all these instances, committees were appointed under the guise of a party reformation process.

The recommendations of these committees never bore fruit as confidants of the Prime Minister delayed the party reformation process.

This has been the modus operandi of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe throughout his leadership of the UNP.


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