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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2613

Sri Lanka President insists on changes to the 17th Amendment

Colombo, 13 March, (Asian Tribune.com): President Mahinda Rajapaksa has assigned the Organization of Professionals Associations to propose amendments to the 17th amendment, to depoliticize the Constitutional Council.

He pointed out several glaring flaws in the 17th Amendment, and has entrusted the Organization of Professionals Associations (OPA) with the task of proposing relevant changes to the controversial piece of law.

President wanted the OPA to explore in particular the possibility of replacing the members nominated by the Speaker to the Constitutional Council (CC) with representatives of civil society groups.The Members of the Foundation for Co-Existence meeting with President Mahinda Rajapaksa at temple Trees on 11th.Ven.Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero, Ministers Dew Gunasekara, and Mahinda Samarasinghe, also Victor Ivan, Kumar Rupesinghe, Elmo Perera, Mahen Dayananda,Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga are also in the picture (Pix Suadth Silva) The Members of the Foundation for Co-Existence meeting with President Mahinda Rajapaksa at temple Trees on 11th.Ven.Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero, Ministers Dew Gunasekara, and Mahinda Samarasinghe, also Victor Ivan, Kumar Rupesinghe, Elmo Perera, Mahen Dayananda,Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga are also in the picture (Pix Suadth Silva)

According to the President of the OPA, senior lawyer Elmore Perera, the President had taken this step following a crucial discussion he held last afternoon with a group of intellectuals and professionals.

'The President maintains that the composition of the CC is too politicized. It is apparent that he wants to depoliticize the CC and make it more people-oriented and representative of a wider cross section of society," Perera said

The new clauses to the 17th Amendment could be passed in Parliament without delay if and when the support of the Opposition, that of the UNP in particular, was obtained.

At the discussion President Rajapaksa was assisted by Constitutional Affairs Minister D.E.W. Gunasekara, Human Rights and Disaster Management Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe, President's Secretary Lalith Weeratunga, Attorney General C,R. De Silva, Secretary, MInistery of Foreign Affairs Dr Palitha Kohona, and Senior State Counsel Nerine Pulle.

Among the civil society representatives were Ven Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera, Ravaya Editor Victor Ivan, Mr. Faizul Rahman, Chamber of Commerce President Mahen Dayanada and Mr. Kumar Rupasinghe.

- Asian Tribune -

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