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Dec 10, 2016

Government will lose at a referendum: Champika Featured

If the government seeks a referendum on the proposed new Constitution, they are bound to lose it, said Megapolis and Western Development Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka.

He pointed out that the Northern people would vote against the proposed new constitution claiming that they have not received adequate powers in the anticipated power devolution while the Southern voters will vote against it on the basis that the Northern regions will receive greater power.

The Mahinda Rajapaksa led Joint Opposition and the JHU will clearly oppose certain proposed clauses while the JVP too is bound to disagree on certain other clauses included in the proposed constitution draft, Champika Ranawaka pointed out.

Treasury bond scam allegations

He said the Treasury bond scam allegations faced by the government will also be a decisive factor that will go against the government at the referendum.

However so far the JVP has not forwarded any proposals with regard to the new constitution and even refrain from commenting on the constitutional issues. The JHU and the JVP have not participated in any of the steering committee meetings with regard to the proposed new constitution, he said. 

Ranawaka pointed out that there was no need to go in for a new constitution and another amendment to the existing constitution will suffice.

The Jathika Hela Urumaya does also not support the pruning of powers of the Executive Presidency and transferring powers to the Prime Minister.

However President Maithripala Sirisena has pledged his compliance for the drafting of a new constitution and wants it done based on the people’s opinion.

Clan of Presidential candidates:

Meanwhile, in the event a presidential election is held in 2020, several candidates from the anticipated new alliance headed by the SLFP have already expressed their desire to contest the election. 

Among them are Patali Champika Ranawaka, Rajitha Senaratne, Arujuna Ranatunge and while it is expected that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will retire from politics by then, Ravi Karunanayake and Daya Gamage are also vying for the position of presidency.

Further there is also information to suggest that Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka will also take another shot at contesting as the common candidate.

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