Pradip Jayewardene to contest on SLFP ticket | Sunday Observer

Pradip Jayewardene to contest on SLFP ticket

Grandson of Sri Lanka’s first Executive President J.R. Jayewardene, the main architect of the present (1978) Constitution, Pradip Jayewardene, announced at a media conference at the Colombo Swimming Club on Thursday, his entry into active politics, explicitly denouncing the new constitution now in the making.

Pradip who is currently the SLFP organiser for Gampaha said that he would probably contest the Colombo Municipal Council at the upcoming local government elections on the SLFP ticket.

Pradip who was Sri Lanka’s Consul General in Germany during the previous regime said that there were invitations from former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s new party – Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna – to join the them and contest the elections on their ticket but he did not take up the offer and had said that he would think about it.

There is no pressing need to repeal the present constitution and replace it with the a new constitution, he said, adding that devolution of more powers to the North and East would not serve any useful purpose because a majority of the minority Tamils are living in the other parts of the country.

When asked for his comments on the enormous powers vested with the Executive President under the present constitution which led to misuse of powers to achieve personal ambitions, Pradip said that the powers of the Executive President were reduced under the 19th Amendment to the Constitution and one safeguard we have, like in the case of the US President, is that you can go for only two terms.

But President Mahinda Rajapaksa made a mistake by introducing the 18th Amendment paving the way to run for a third term, he said. His grandfather, J. R. Jayewardene was opposed to the federal package drafted by the then President Chandrika Kumaratunga because in the South most of the land is either in private hands or tied up in estates and, under a federal package, the large extent of land available to the Government for development in the North and East would be lost forever.