Calls to amend section 81 to institute civic disability

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –A sum of Rs. 12 billion of Perpetual Treasuries has been withheld and the Central Bank Governor has assured that the money is there, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament yesterday.

He made this observation in Parliament moving the adjournment debate on the Bond Commission report and on the Presidential Commission report on Serious Crimes and Abuse of Power (PRECIFAC).

The Premier also suggested that Parliament should consider amending Section 81 of the Constitution, the section that imposes civic disability on the recommendation of a Presidential Commission.

He also queried if the party leaders were ready to amend section 81 of the constitution or if they were scared to do so, he asked.

Moving the adjournment motion, the Premier said the President had presented two Presidential Commission reports, namely the Bond Commission Report and the PRECIFAC report on December 30.

“However as the members needed to debate on the same, I sent a letter to summon sittings on January 10.”

He added that the Chief Opposition Whip Anura Dissanayake pointed out that it was impossible as the reports had not been presented to Parliament. He added that the reports were presented to Parliament on January 23.

Thereafter, on the request of the members, the debate was fixed for February 8 and then the Election Commissioner said that if the debate was taken on February 8 the Local Government Election will have to be postponed by two days. “Therefore,Speaker Karu Jayasuriya and I decided to take up the debate on February 6 (yesterday),” the Premier said.

He said that action, in connection with the Bond Commission Report has already been taken. Statements have been taken from relevant persons, some have been produced before Courts and some have been remanded.

“With regard to the PRECIFAC there are steps yet to be taken. There are around 30 persons involved. A new Act will be presented on the Central Bank.We will reform the Central Bank by way of a new Financial Act,” the PM said.

The government will also present legislation to create a Budget Office soon. He also added that Parliament will have to consider on amending Section 81 of the constitution.

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