Final decision on Constitution after APC consensus: Rajitha

Co-Cabinet spokesman and Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said yesterday that final decision with regard to the Constitution will be based on a consensus reached by an All Party Conference (APC) as suggested by President Maithripala Sirisena.

At the same time, the government will also call for a Conference of religious dignitaries and intellectuals to seek their ideas for the proposed new Constitution.

But,the people who protest against the new Constitution have no ideas about it and engaging in distorting the facts.

Addressing the weekly Cabinet briefing at the Government Information Department yesterday, the Minister said the people who threatened to bomb Parliament did not air their views when they had the opportunity to do so.

“But, now they are shouting unnecessarily with the aim of misguiding the people by distorting facts,” Minister Senaratne said.

While TNA MP Mavai Senadhiraja has described the All Party Conference as a waste of time, it was Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan who said that the Constitution should not be passed without the support of the majority Sinhala community.

He further said that Federalism is only a structure of power devolution. The Supreme Court has also ruled that Federalism will not lead to separatism.

“But,it is only a structure of power devolution,” the Minister said.

He said that all parties had agreed to accept Sri Lanka as unitary state.

Responding to the question with regard to former Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe’s view on the Constitution Assembly, the Minister asked why the former Minister is still in the Constitutional Assembly, if he has stated that the Assembly is unlawful.

Co-Cabinet Spokesman Lands and Parliamentary Reforms Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka said never in the history as Parliament convened as a Constitutional Assembly for discussing the Constitutional reforms and also the public earlier did not get an opportunity to present their ideas.

“We have already extended the hours of Parliament sittings to debate the proposals made in the Interim Report on the new Constitution to give more opportunity for political parties to present their views. People voted in favour of this government due to its promise of abolishing the Executive Presidency. We must not forget that promise,” Minister Karunathilaka added.

Co-Cabinet Spokesman and Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera said a new Constitution should be acceptable to all the people of the country. That is why the President proposed the All Party Conference. We need ample time to carry out hat task as it is most important to the country.

He said the SLFP has said that it wants to make the President more stronger if power is devolved. But if the President is against that,we think about that as well.We remember how, the former President acted to strengthen the power. He never wants to curtail the powers. But,President Maithripala Sirisena is not like that and he always wants to reduce the power of his office. But,we are also against the creation of the Executive Prime Minister instead of the Executive Presidency. 


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