Changes to Independent Commissions through 20A – Keheliya

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella yesterday said changes would be made to the Independent Commissions through the proposed 20th Amendment to the Constitution while preserving their independence.

“The Independent Commissions established under the 19th Amendment to the Constitution have never been independent. We hope to make some changes to these Commissions while preserving their independence”, he said. Rambukewella said that seven out of 10 members of the Constitutional Council represent the Yahapalana camp and there are issues with regard to three members representing civil society. “The Election Commission comprises only three members and the quorum of the Commission is also three,” he said.

He said that no country in the world has such a Commission where the total membership of a Commission is considered to be the quorum.

The Minister was addressing a number of meetings held in the Harispattuwa electorate to pay gratitude to the people who made him victorious at the election yesterday.

However, the Minister said that the salient features in the 19th Amendment such as the Right to Information Act and Presidential term in office will be retained in the 20th Amendment too.

He added that the people have given a clear mandate to the government to clear the Constitutional bottleneck that would impede the country’s forward march.

Rambukwella also said that the 13th Amendment to the Constitution may have shortcomings as it was drafted in a week. “We will discuss the 13th Amendment to the Constitution later,” he said. The Minister said that the statements made by Parliamentarians C.V.Vigneswaran and Gajendra Kumar Ponnambalam are a threat to the amity that exists among the people of different communities in the country.

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