Decision up to Parliament – Kiriella

Published : 8:59 am  January 19, 2017 | No comments so far |  | 


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By Yohan Perera  
While stating that no decision had been made in the constitutional process regarding the unitary character or devolution of power, Leader of the House and member of the Constitution Steering Committee Lakshman Kiriella said yesterday the final decision on these matters will be made by Parliament. DM_20170119_A001-37

Minister Kiriella told a media briefing that the steering committee had not come up with any proposal yet. “The steering committee of the constitutional assembly has not prepared a draft constitution yet. What we have before us are the reports of seven sub committees,” the Minister said.  

“The subcommittee reports will be openly debated in Parliament and some will be accepted and others rejected and the final draft will be prepared by the House,” he added.  

Accordingly, the Minister said no decision had been made on the unitary status or devolution of power.  

Also he said some had proposed that the power of provincial governors be increased while others have proposed that it be reduced. “However all of these decisions will be made by Parliament,” he said.  However, he said what the present government intends doing is to fulfil the pledge given by Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa who once said he will accept any solution to the national issue proposal submitted by a parliamentary select committee.  The Minister recalled that the former President had pledged a solution which goes beyond the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.   

“What we are trying to do is to fulfil what the former President had once proposed and he himself and his supporters are opposing the same today,” Mr Kiriella said.  

Responding to statements made by some Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) members that Executive Presidency should be retained; the Minister said one must understand that President Sirisena and the United National Front (UNF) had received a mandate to scrap the Executive Presidency. “President Sirisena pledged that he will scrap the Executive Presidency when he came forward as the common opposition candidate in 2014 and apparently got a mandate for it while the UNF got a mandate at the general election to scrap it,” he said. Also he said the President made the same pledge at the late Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera’s Funeral.   Asked about the SLFP proposal to field President Sirisena to re-contest for the presidency, Mr Kiriella said Mr Sirisena had not made any statement on it yet.