Purawesi Balaya to back 20A | Sunday Observer

Purawesi Balaya to back 20A

Civil Society movement, Purawesi Balaya along with 48 other civil society groups will fully back the 20th amendment to the Constitution to be brought forward by the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna in May.

The proposed 20th Amendment will seek to abolish of the Executive Presidency and will be presented as a private member’s Bill to Parliament, the JVP announced last week.

The JVP also claimed it will seek the support of all political parties and civil society groups in the process, even going on to say they are willing to negotiate with the Joint opposition in this regard. Speaking to the Sunday Observer, Co-convenor of the movement, Gamini Viyangoda said his group along with 48 others including civil movements such as Nidahase Wedikawa, Weediye Virodhaya will support the 20th Amendment while intensifying awareness campaigns carried out by them to support the JVP in their efforts.

“In four instances in this country’s history its rulers have promised to abolish the executive Presidency,” he said, adding that at least now the promise made to the people should be followed through.

“Agreements were even signed in the past promising the same but to no avail,” he pointed out.

According to him while the current President also gained power through that promise, Viyangoda said he does not believe that any individual or party who voted for good governance could voice their dissent against the 20th Amendment.

The abolishing of the executive Presidency in order to curtail its extensive powers was one of the main demands from the government by civil society groups Purawesi Balaya and National Movement for a Just Society led by the late Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera.

“Agreements were even signed in the past promising the same but to no avail,” he pointed out.

 According to him while the current President also gained power through that promise, Viyangoda said he does not believe that any individual or party who voted for good governance could voice their dissent against the 20th Amendment.

The abolishing of the executive Presidency in order to curtail its extensive powers was one of the main demands from the government by civil society groups Purawesi Balaya and National Movement for a Just Society led by the late Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera. According to Viyangoda, many racist and extremist elements are creating fallacies and spreading misinformation regarding the Amendment among the public to stoke the fears of separatism.

“We will work towards dispelling this wrong information,” he said adding that they will work at the forefront to gather more groups to support the cause.

Leader of the JVP, Anura Kumara Dissanayake last week confirmed that the draft had already been prepared.

While refusing to reveal its contents prematurely, he, however, said the JVP will work with any group willing to support the proposal. Dispelling rumours, Dissanayake assured that some powers will be vested in the President who will be elected by Parliament as opposed to a people’s election and the draft also will maintain the existing powers of a governor. According to Dissanayake, the JVP decided to draft the 20th Amendment as those who promised to do so seem to have lost interest in the matter.

Meanwhile, while voicing his support for the proposed amendment, Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne, of the United Left Front and Lanka Sama Samaja Party and Constitutional expert, said ideally the country should enact a new Constitution.

According to Dr. Wickramaratne, while there are several groups appear to be anti-abolitionists, including some minority leaders who think the executive presidency helps the minorities as they have a chance to influence the election, he said to meet the concerns of those ‘minority’ leaders, the Constitution can provide for the President to be elected by at least 60% of MPs or the electoral college.

 

Comments

I totally agree not only to abolition of executive presidency but the whole 1978 constitution with all amendments thereto . I am of the firm opinion that a new constitution establishing three independent bodies of Legislature, Executive and the Judiciary. Selection , promotion , transfer and disciplinary control of judiciary and the government servants must be done transparently but not favoring the party supporters. On the other hand judicial officers[judges to all courts] and government servants must be recruited on the basis of pure merit and the ethnic ratio assuring all citizens have equal rights to join government service, judiciary , three armed forces and police service. Appointment of secretaries to ministries, head of departments and forces , all judges must be done by an independent body that constitutes majority of local and internationally reputed personalities. But retired and present administrative and judicial officers should not be given major no of vacancies in that body.

The traitors and the enemy of the state, Puravasibalaya would want the Ex presidency gone, would't they?

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