Sri Lanka President calls for repealing 19th Amendment, says it led to political instability

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) – Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena Sunday called for repealing the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which was the main component of his election manifesto at 2015 presidential elections, blaming the legislation for the political instability in the country.

President Maithripala Sirisena on Sunday said the 18th and 19th amendments to the Constitution should be abolished in order to establish a good governance ensuring freedom and democracy in the future.

The President said although the 19th Amendment was introduced because of the monarchial and dictatorial nature of the 18th Amendment introduced by the former government, the 19th Amendment made it impossible for the country to move forward under a single political leadership creating a political uncertainty where objectives of the good governance proved futile.

President made these comments in his speech at the 40th anniversary celebrations of the National Housing Development Authority on Sunday at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH).

Speaking further, the President said the biggest mistake of this government is the 19th Amendment since it created political instability.

“The time has come for the post-mortem to be held…If this government was bad for the country in the past four and a half years, the main reason is the 19th Amendment. Otherwise this is a very good government.”

�There is an allegation among the people in this country that the Prime Minister and I are pulling in different directions. It was the 19th Amendment that created that situation for both sides…The 19th Amendment introduced a system of drawing both sides apart. It caused a huge loss to the country. The government too suffered a great loss.”

Presenting the bill in parliament in April 2015, the President said with the enactment of the 19th Amendment, the people of Sri Lanka will experience the true meaning of democracy and peace.

However, on Sunday, he said that if both the 18th Amendment and the 19th Amendment are repealed, it would be good for the country. “If the 19th Amendment were not made, this four and a half years would have been a great victory.”

The President expressing his views further said the country today needs a people friendly government sensitive to their expectations and for that matter honest and patriotic leaders are a prerequisite.

In addition, if the 1.6 million strong public servants discharge their duties and responsibilities with no corruption and bribes people’s expectations can be met, the President further stated.

Venerable Banagala Upatissa the chief prelate in Japan, Premier Ranil Wickramasinghe, Former Minister Ms. Ferial Ashroff, and Former Chairpersons in the National Housing Development Authority were also among the large gathering.

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