Sri Lanka constitutional changes mooted in three phases: President’s maximum number of terms to be handled last
Sri Lanka’s new constitutional amendments will be completed by December 2010. The reforms are mooted in three distinct stages and the first wave is expected in July.
Changes to an individual’s maximum number of terms in the Presidency, which is the most talked about amendment at present, will come only in the last phase.
And pro-development changes will be a key point in the mooted changes, sources close to the government said.
According to these sources, the first phase of reforms will focus on the 13th Amendment (devolution of power proposals and Provincial Councils). It will also re-activate the various inactive commissions such as the Police Commission and the Constitutional Commission.
The second phase will see the appointment of the second chamber --the ‘senate’.
It is proposed that the Senate will be a balanced representation of region based and ethnicity based MPs (representatives). However, political sources revealed that the second chamber proposal is now in danger of becoming a mere ceremonial outfit sans viable influence, in that, mostly senior and elderly politicians are set to be appointed to ‘adorn’ it.
The third phase will see the most talked about constitutional change at present -changes to an individual’s maximum number of terms in the Presidency.
The third phase will come closer to the end of 2010, sources close to the government said.
Among the new reforms are pro-development amendments. Constitutional provisions hampering national development are to be done away with. Sources said the amendments will include pro development reforms but did not specify any.
Supporters of constitutional reform in Sri Lanka however often say ‘lack of reservation for women in Parliament’ and the ‘non-secular nature of the constitution’ as some key constitutional stumbling blocks standing in the way of country’s development.
- Asian Tribune -