Dec 25, 2016

Referendum next year for a new constitution! Featured

President Maithripala Sirisena has decided to seek a public mandate for a new constitution to replace the existing one introduced by the late J.R. Jayewardene in 1978, ‘Sathhanda’ reports quoting political sources in the government.

He is expected to announce soon that a referendum will take place next year.

A parliamentary committee is working on a new constitution that devolves powers, abolishes the executive presidency, introduces a new electoral system and generally strengthens human rights.

Interim committee reports on six subject matters were presented to the House recently.

However, certain seniors in both the UNP and the SLFP as well the opposition are objecting to the proposal.

However, the president is of the firm view that his administration should see the realization of the promise given to the people and the international community to introduce democratic political reforms.

'Referendum can be won'

MangalaSamaraweera 670px 16 11 14Meanwhile, the government’s propaganda chief, minister Mangala Samaraweera says he is confident the president will not hesitate to take the decision despite whatever disruptions he will encounter.

He will overcome this challenge after having taken a historic decision by risking his life to defeat the Rajapaksa regime, Samaraweera says.

The minister goes on to say that the referendum can be won with the strength of president Sirisena, the most popular leader in both the south and the north.

He will remain in the battle for justice, he says, adding that world leaders consider him to be the most democratic leader after Nelson Mandela.

All the forces that contributed to the January 08 change will be there with the president to introduce a new constitution that can help solve other issues as well, Samaraweera says.

Everyone will join together in this task, although contesting the other elections will be done separately, he says.