Ven. Sobitha thero explains the need for a new constitution
Feb 9, 2013

The United Bhikku Front yesterday urged the people to support an amendment to the constitution to abolish the Executive Presidency which they said was the primary threat to the rule of law.

The United Bhikku Front spokesman and incumbent of the Kotte Nagaviharaya Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero said, a new constitution was necessary to ensure fair play and justice.

He said that the constitution which has been in force since 1978, by J.R. Jayawardena, was not meant to assist the people but to fulfill his dream to rule without accountability to others. However the Thera said the country needed a leader who is accountable to parliament, to the judiciary and to the people.

“We live in a society where monks are butchered like fish. Where women and children are killed but no one talks about it. The Sri Lankan people are complacent. Like the Indians who fought on the streets in support of a young girl who was abused, we too should act on the enormous injustice done to the people,” he said.

Senior Lawyer J.C Weliamuna said since the Executive Presidency still remains in the constitution a President could grab all existing powers into his hands. He said the Finance Minister is accountable to parliament and should sit through parliamentary sessions but it was not the case since the President held the finance portfolio.

He said the integrity of the country’s voting system was lost as the purpose did not exist any longer. “Elections take place because one has the confidence that he or she has strong potential to win. However that confidence is not lost. These ideas did not exist back in the day however it prevails today,” he said.

He said a future constitution should ensure equality and respect to all races and religions and the process of amending the constitution should be carried out in an equitable manner.

UNP Western Province Minister Shrilal Lakthilaka said, people need to understand the requirement to amend the constitution and immense support from the people was needed to move forward with a new constitution.

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka

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