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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2702

Still Uncertainity Looms Over The Fate Of 19th Amendment

Colombo, 28 April, (Asiantribune.com):

Uncertainty looms again over passing of the 19th Amendment, as the opposition demanded the government to implement 8 of their proposals in reciprocal to their support.

As things remains, the fate of the 19th Amendment still lies in the balance, with more than 30 amendments covering eight broad areas being proposed and submitted by Opposition ranks by last afternoon, in addition to those moved by the government.

According to political sources said the UPFA, led by the SLFP, had moved amendments covering eight areas while several other parties including the ITAK, DNA, NFF, SLMC, MEP, LSSP and Communist Party too had mooted a few dozen amendments.

MEP Leader Dinesh Gunawardena said the amendments forwarded by them received no serious attention from the government. Former minister Wimal Weerawansa said that the government should accept the proposals made by the Opposition.

Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Nimal Siripala de Silva had suggested that five parliamentarians should be appointed to the Constitutional Council proposed by the 19th Amendment. The opposition had also forwarded amendments on the procedure to remove the Prime Minister.

Sharp differences of opinion has emerged within the opposition over two contentious issues namely the composition of the Constitutional Council and the President acting on the Prime Minister’s advice when appointing the cabinet of Ministers.

Two political party leaders’ meetings were held yesterday while the parliament was debating the 19th Amendment.

It is reported that both the president and the prime minister participated in the party meeting held in the afternoon.

Meanwhile, a Committee comprising six legislators was set-up following a party leaders' meeting as both sides could not forge a consensus on the amendments that have been suggested to date.

The Committee comprises three members from the ruling party with three more from the Opposition. The Committee comprising Rauff Hakeem, M.A. Sumanthiran, Ajith P.Perera, Anura Priyadharshana Yapa, Faizer Mustapha and Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha is tasked with producing a final set of amendments that could be agreeable to both parties. The Attorney General was appointed by the President as the main 'arbitrator' to the Committee.

The committee, which sat for several hours last afternoon, ended without any conclusive decisions on the two contentious issues. The Committee is expected to meet at 10.00 a.m. today.

- Asian Tribune -

Still Uncertainity Looms Over The Fate Of 19th Amendment
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