19th Amendment, an impediment in forward march - Aluthgamage | Sunday Observer

19th Amendment, an impediment in forward march - Aluthgamage

30 August, 2020

Agriculture Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage said the 19th Amendment has become a great impediment in the country’s forward march while the people have given the Government a resounding mandate of a two-thirds majority for a new Constitution and this was one of the Government’s election pledges. We would include the Right to Information in the proposed 20th Amendment and we will not remove the salutary features in the 19th Amendment. However, we have serious issues regarding the independent commissions appointed by the former Yahapalana Government, the Minister told the Sunday Observer yesterday.

He said that anybody can send an anonymous letter to the Bribery Commission, so that an investigation will be conducted. Then they will bring the complainant to the Bribery Commission where perhaps he would be subjected to harassment. Earlier, there was no such practice in the Bribery Commission. The normal procedure was changed by the Yahapalana Government to repress their political opponents. Therefore, those Commissions were not independent at all.

Minister Aluthgamage said many changes need to be made to these independent commissions. We are studying this and no final decision has been taken. There is a series of issues with regard to the independent commissions. First, we would only abolish the 19th Amendment and later we would dispassionately discuss the contents of the 20th Amendment.

Asked whether the main Opposition SJB asserts that the Government attempts to bring in the 20th Amendment to realise its ulterior motives, the Minister said we should not take the SJB seriously. They could not win even a single district. There is no point in talking about a party rejected by the people. The people have given a resounding mandate to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa andt our task is to work for the well-being of the people.