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Catholic Bishops against changes to 13th Amendment

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The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Sri Lanka requested the government not to proceed with amending the 13th Amendment, but to discuss with all relevant parties on drawing up a totally new Constitution, which is fair by all communities.

The 13th Amendment of the National Constitution is a system that by and large, allows the greater participation of the people in the matter of governance, a statement from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Sri Lanka read.

In the statement signed by Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, the organization stated that even though the 13th Amendment may not be perfect, at this moment Sri Lanka is striving to make permanent the hard won peace and that pondering on this constitutional provision may lead to over centralization of authority and to international meddling in the internal affairs of the country. It claimed that the problem in the North is a national question for which the solution is to be found by the local political leadership of both Sinhala and Tamil communities. The organization added, it is not convinced that careful study of all factors, along with the broad-based consultations of the different political parties and civil society groups, are being conducted before any changes are made.

It therefore advised the government not to proceed with the proposed amendment to the 13th Amendment or to its total repeal, but to discuss with all parties, especially through the Parliamentary Select Committee, and think about a totally new Constitution which would guarantee
CT

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