Independents write to Justice Minister

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Nine coalition parties that have become independent in Parliament have written to Minister of Justice Dr. Wijayadasa Rajapakshe to express their concerns and suggestions with regard to the proposed 21 Amendment to the Constitution.

One suggestion is to allow any citizen to challenge a Bill in the Committee Stage of Parliament before the Supreme Court within one month of the Speaker signing the Bill.

Another suggestion was that bilateral and multi-lateral agreements between the Government of Sri Lanka with any government be submitted to Parliament for approval before being signed, and that when the structure of a public institution is changed, a comprehensive plan be submitted and approved.

The letter also said its scope should be broadened to allow the National Procurement Commission to approve agreements involving investments in strategically important national resources such as ports and airports, as well as the formation of joint ventures. These agreements must also be approved by Parliament first.

The nine parties also proposed that the Prime Minister serve on the National Security Council and that the President only hold the defence portfolio.

If a minister requests in writing the basis of a Police and Public Service Commission decision, the Chairman of the relevant Commission is required to respond in writing within two weeks.

The letter was signed by MPs Wimal Weerawansa, Vasudeva Nanayakkara, Udaya Gammanpila, Dr. G. Weerasinghe, Gevindu Kumaratunga, Tissa Vitharana, Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thero, A. L. M. Athaullah and Asanka Nawaratne. 

By Thameenah Razeek