Sirisena expresses SLFP willingness to back 21A

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Chairman of the SLFP Maithripala Sirisena has written to Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe to express his and his party’s complete support for the proposed draft of the 21st Amendment to the Constitution.

He said in a letter to the Minister of Justice, Prison Affairs, and Constitutional Reforms that the SLFP agrees to all amendments in the draft proposed by Rajapakshe and also submits several other proposals for consideration.

Sirisena refers to the Justice Minister’s letter dated 24 May, in which he forwarded the draft bill for the 21st Amendment to the Constitution for his comments.

“I wish to place on record that my party and I fully support the proposed 21st Amendment to the Constitution,” he said.

Whilst agreeing to all of the amendments in the Justice Minister’s proposed draft, Sirisena also proposes the following amendments for his consideration included Part II of the Schedule to Article 41C in the proposed Draft: Include the Members of the Monetary Board and Secretaries of Ministries. 

He also proposed article 41G (3) of the Constitution: make amendments to provide for the Rules of the Constitutional Council to be made within one month of the constitution of the council, similar time frames should be prescribed in respect of rules to be made by all commissions established in terms of the Constitution established in terms of the Constitution and Article 44(2) of the Constitution: to be amended to provide for the President to only hold the portfolio of the Minster of Defence;

He also recommends that article 47 of the Constitution: to be amended to provide for 30 Ministries on a pre-identified, rational basis, article 43 of the Constitution: to be amended to provide for the grant of Pardon to be carried out in terms of the recommendations by a body established by law, appointed by the President, on the recommendation of the Constitutional Council and article 91 of the Constitution: to be amended to provide for a conviction under Section 9 of the Declaration of Assets and Liabilities Act. No 1 of 1975, as a disqualification for election as a MP.

The other proposals were, article 92 of the Constitution: to be amended to provide for a conviction under Section 9 of the Declaration of Assets and Liabilities Act. No 1 of 1975, as a disqualification for election to the office of President and inclusion of a provision for the appointment of Governors of the Provinces, Ambassadors and Heads of Missions to be done on the ‘advice’ of the Prime Minister in consultation with the Cabinet of Ministers and the final was the inclusion of a new provision to prohibit the appointment of persons as secretaries to ministries form outside of the Public Service.

By Thameenah Razeek