Smooth sailing for 20A - Mahindananda Aluthgamage | Sunday Observer
Opposition MPs pledge support

Smooth sailing for 20A - Mahindananda Aluthgamage

4 October, 2020

Agriculture Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage said it is two- hundred percent certain that 150 MPs in the Government ranks would stand firmly together to vote for the 20th Amendment in Parliament while another 25 MPs from the SJB and other Opposition parties have pledged their support to vote for the 20th Amendment. “There won’t be any issue for the Government to secure a two-thirds majority to pass the 20th Amendment, ” the Minister told the Sunday Observer yesterday.

He said they are confident that the Government would pass the 20th Amendment by 175 votes with the help of 25 Opposition MPs.

The Minister said passing the 20th Amendment with an overwhelming majority in Parliament would further strengthen the people’s confidence in the President and the Prime Minister.

“When the vote is taken for the 20th Amendment in Parliament, Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa would be astonished at what happens to the SJB, he said.

Minister Aluthgamage said at present the main Opposition, the SJB is attempting to create a bogey out of the 20th Amendment to hoodwink the masses.

The SJB only secured about 50 seats at the recently concluded General Election and now they are trying to give a wrong interpretation of the 20th Amendment due to its political bankruptcy. The SJB has been reduced to a pathetic state so much so that some people pelted stones at its leader Sajith Premadasa at a public meeting.

The Minister said that as the President had pledged in his election manifesto the Government will introduce a new Constitution within a year.

Responding to the Opposition claim that the Government was attempting to remove the National Procurement Commission and Audit Service Commission from the 20th Amendment, Minister Aluthgamage said the audit process of Government institutions was successfully carried even before the Audit Service Commission was set up. If there is any financial irregularity in a state institution that can be referred to the COPE and COPA under the purview of Parliament.

Mass Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella told the Sunday Observer that it would take at least a minimum of one year to introduce a new Constitution. At present the public complain about the lethargy in the state sector.

There are many negative and retrogressive features in the 19th Amendment. We need to fast-track development and other priorities. A two-thirds majority in Parliament is a must to move forward. Commenting on the protest against the 20th Amendment by Opposition political parties and other segments in society, Minister Rambukwella said the main Opposition SJB has to make its presence as it has failed miserably to receive a public mandate to run the country.

The SLPP has been given the reins of Government by an overwhelming majority by the public. We specifically asked the people to give us a two-thirds majority to abolish the 19th Amendment which is negative and impedes development.

The Minister said there was a healthy discussion within the Government ranks on the 20th Amendment.