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Constitutional reforms to be expedited

The Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly will resume its meetings from May to revive the Constitutional reforms process after a hiatus of about five months.

A Steering Committee member confirmed to the Daily News yesterday that the Government has decided to resume the Steering Committee meetings after May 8, but said an exact date is yet to be fixed.

Steering Committee sources said Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe at a Party Leaders’ Meeting will shortly request to fix a date for the next Steering Committee (SC) meeting.

The Constitutional reforms process took a back seat since late last year as the internal issues of the Government and Local Government Elections came to the fore. The last SC meeting was held on November 16, 2017 and it was the 75th meeting since its first meeting on April 5, 2016.

The process was almost stalled after the five-day Constitutional Assembly debate of Interim Report of the Steering Committee in November last year. However the Constitutional Assembly Secretariat was working throughout the period to incorporate the amendments that came up during the debate.

The 21-member Steering Committee headed by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe includes members Lakshman Kiriella, Nimal Siripala de Silva, Rauff Hakeem, Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, Susil Premajayantha, Rishad Bathiudeen, Patali Champika Ranawaka, D. M. Swaminathan, Mano Ganesan, Malik Samarawickrama, R Sampanthan, Anura Dissanayaka, Dilan Perera, Dinesh Gunawardena, Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne, M.A. Sumanthiran, Dr. Thusitha Wijemanna, Bimal Rathnayake, Prasanna Ranatunga and Douglas Devananda.