Buddhist Monks write to President on 20A
Three Buddhist monks submitted a letter to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa urging him to reconsider the decision to ratify the proposed 20th Amendment to the Constitution, introducing necessary amendments before passing it.
The three Buddhist monks who had forwarded the letter to the President are Ven. Elle Gunawansa Thera, Ven. Muruththettuwe Ananda Thera and Ven. Bengamuwe Nalaka Thera.
The monks had pointed out in their letter though the Government had envisioned the creation of a stable and strong Government with the new Bill, they had warned that its haphazard ratification would instead create an autocrat of a President while rendering the Cabinet into a non entity.
The monks had opined that the powers vested in the incumbent Prime Minister would be seriously curtailed while reducing the Cabinet into mere puppets if the Bill is passed.
The monks had explained that the new Bill if enacted would prevent the masses from legally challenging any unconstitutional moves by the present regime.
They had further observed that the proposed Amendment if passed would also pave the way for the creation of an unstable Government with no respect for the rule of law and have also warned that allowing dual citizens to seek higher political office would impinge on national security and the sovereignty of the people. They had also stated that dual citizens should be prohibited from not only entering Parliament but also from holding any post in any Government institution.
The monks had also urged the President to reconsider amending several Clauses contained in the Bill such as those concerning the appointment of Judges to the higher Courts, the removal of the Presidential Secretariat, the Prime Minister’s Office and State Institutions from audit inquiries conducted by the Auditor General, and allowing the President to increase the number of Cabinet Ministers according to his wishes, among others.