The main opposition UNP is to launch a struggle for the abolition of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution and for the establishment of an independent police, public service and an election commission. Opposition Leader and Leader of UNP Ranil Wickremesinghe today said his party would start this struggle from Parliament and then go to the extent of an all-out struggle against this draconian piece of legislation.
Mr. Wickremesinghe who met the UNP organisers and candidates who contested for the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) at the recently concluded local government poll today said the enactment of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution exactly one year ago is the root cause of the Election Day assassination of presidential advisor Baratha Laskhman Premachnadra, He said the rule of law in the country had collapsed after the enactment of this amendment which had taken the independent status of institutions such as the police away.
He therefore said the inaction of the police led to a series of unfortunate incidents in the recent past including the killing of Roshen Chanaka in the Katunayake FTZ, Dompe Drama and finally the Kolonnawa incident. Recalling the happenings in the run up to the enacting of 18th Amendment he said no one including the Minister who were engaged in a dialogue with the UNP on establishing independent commissions were aware of the move by Minister G. L. Peiris to come up with the amendment.
He also recalled how the UNP government of 2002 worked towards establishing the independent commission as per the 17th Amendment to the Constitution. Mr. Wickremesinghe said his government only failed to set up the independent election commission. He said it did not work out as the then President Chandrika Kumaratunga did not agree to the persons nominated to the commission.
Stating that the Darussalam report had questioned the absence of independence in several important institutions such as the police, Mr. Wickremesinghe said Sri Lanka would have to agree with that point highlighted in the report. (Yohan Perera)