New Constitution, no threat to country’s unitary status: Patali

An interim report on the new Constitution compiled by the Steering Committee will pose no threat to the unitary status of the country and would accord the foremost place to Buddhism, Megapolis and Western Province Development Ministrer Patali Champika Ranawaka said.

The Minister was addressing the media at theJathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) headquarters yesterday.

The Minister added that no new Constitution has been prepared but only a set of draft of proposals to the Constitution has been forwarded by the Steering Committee appointed to prepare a new Constitution.

“Therefore, there is no base for agitations since the new Constitution has not yet been prepared.

However, it can be observed that certain people are levelling baseless allegations about the country’s unitary status and the priority accorded to Buddhism,” he said. Minister Ranawaka added the draft of a Constitution presented to Parliament recently contains the proposals of nine political parties including the SLFP,JHU,JVP, TNA, etc.

“The draft is to be amended and it is not the final copy of the Constitution,” he added. Asked about the procedure followed with regard to the formulation of the Constitution, Minister Ranawaka said there will be a debate in Parliament on this matter. Then it would have to be passed with a two thirds majority in Parliament and followed by a referendum.

“There is no base for agitating that the country is going to be divided and that Buddhism will not be accorded priority,” he noted. The Minister further pointed out that all Parliamentarians have unanimously agreed to prepare a new Constitution and therefore all MPs have become members of the Constitutional Assembly. 

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