20A non-negotiable, says JVP leader | Sunday Observer

20A non-negotiable, says JVP leader

The 20th Amendment to the Constitution is non-negotiable, Leader of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna Anura Kumara Dissanayake said addressing trade unionists this week.

Speaking at a seminar for trade union members organised by the National Trade Union Centre, Dissanayake said while suggestions and amendments to the proposed 20th amendment are welcome from any party concerned, however, keeping the executive presidency in its existing form is not.

“Changes can be made to the proposal and we can have discussions on the matter,” he said adding that, however, the end result should be the abolishment of the executive presidency system.

He also said the JVP is willing to step back if other parties want to take the lead in abolishing the executive presidency system. “We can adjust as needed to achieve the aim,” he said adding that however, the JVP had to bring in the proposal as other parties had failed to deliver as promised by them.According to Dissanayake, the 20th amendment will ensure that democracy is restored in the country. “This may not be the only problem in the country but it is one of importance,” he said. According to him the collapse of the economy, politics and society in the country is a result of the failing democratic system he pointed out. “The main obstructing factor to restore democracy is the executive presidential system” he alleged. “The cabinet is powerless before an executive President and are mere puppets” he claimed.

According to the JVP leader cabinet, today is a mere shell of an institution that does the bidding of an executive president. Questioning if a Cabinet paper presented by a President has ever been rejected by the Cabinet, Dissanayake said they are unable to do so as the President has the powers to decide on Ministerial positions. However, the JVP presenting the 20th Amendment has now obstructed the political agendas of certain political figures he said.

“Gotabaya’s political journey can only happen in a scenario where there is no 20th Amendment,” he said. According to him those who are opposing the abolishment, such as Wimal Weerawansa and Udaya Gammanpila are those who cannot contest alone in a Presidential election. “In a scenario, therefore, they must find a leader to support” Dissanayake explained adding that this is why they are vehemently opposing 20A. However, despite the opposition, the JVP has now sworn to push forward with the proposal with the help of civil society groups.