President promises a Constitution with “One country, one law for all people” in Sri Lanka
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa promised sweeping changes to the Sri Lanka’s Constitution that will ensure a stable Parliament and “priority will be given to the concept of one country, one law for all the people” in his address to Parliament at the opening of the new parliament on Thursday,
Opening his statement, the President that the ‘patriotic citizens’ who helped the government obtain a two-thirds majority and all voters at the General Election 2020. He stated that the public mandate given to him at the parliamentary polls prove that the public is satisfied with the service done by his administration since Presidential Election 2019. He further said that he will not in any way act to breach the trust placed in him by the people.
President said that he has pledged to protect the unitary status of the country and to protect and nurture the Buddha Sasana during his tenure. Accordingly, He has also set up an advisory council comprising leading Buddhist monks to seek advice on governance.
While ensuring priority for Buddhism, it is now clear to the people that freedom of any citizen to practice the religion of their choice is better secured, he added.
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said that they have restructured the security apparatus and intelligence services, restoring the security of the country.
The President emphasized that his party had asked the people for a two-thirds majority to change the Constitution and that mandate has been given to his government.
“The basis of the success of a democratic state is its constitution. Our constitution, which has been amended 19 times since its inception in 1978, has many ambiguities and uncertainties, presently resulting in confusion. As the people have given us the mandate we wanted for a constitutional amendment, our first task will be to remove the 19th amendment to the constitution. After that, all of us will get together to formulate a new constitution suitable for the country,” he told the parliament.
“While introducing a new constitution, it is essential to make changes to the current electoral system. While retaining the salutary aspects of the proportional representation system, these changes will be made to ensure the stability of the parliament and people’s direct representation,” Rajapaksa said.
The amendment was added by his predecessor Maithripala Sirisena to reform the country's political system by reducing the extensive powers.