Constitution to be amended to address people’s agitations – Premier


BY Gagani Weerakoon and Methmalie Dissanayake

In the wake of islandwide protests against the Government, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday (19) proposed to amend the Constitution as a short- term solution to address the people’s agitations.

The Premier said that a Government will never let the people suffer willingly.

In a special statement in Parliament, Rajapaksa said that a new Constitution would be introduced as well and he hoped everyone, despite party differences, would support the effort.

Rajapaksa also said that the Government’s invitation to other political parties in Parliament to rebuild the country is still valid and anyone could join with the Government to achieve that purpose.

“We are passing through a crucial time. This is a moment we all have to come together and find solutions to overcome the crises. This is not a moment to gain political advantage. The people are watching us. So, we have a huge responsibility towards the people. That is why we invited all of you (the Opposition MPs) to join to rebuild the country. That invitation was extended with genuine interest and it is still valid,” he said.

Speaking further, the Premier said the Government has already commenced discussions with international organisations such as the IMF, the World Bank and the ADB to overcome the economic crisis. “Also, several friendly countries have pledged to support us as well”, he said.

“We believe that solutions to the current protests are discussions. That was why I invited protesters at Galle Face for discussions. We should remember that we were ready to do necessary interventions after obtaining their valuable proposals,” he said.