June 10, Colombo: The Catholic bishops of Sri Lanka have requested the government not to proceed with amending the 13th Amendment to the Constitution although the amendment may not be perfect.
In a statement the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Sri Lanka today requested the government not to proceed with amending the 13th Amendment or totally repeal it but to discuss with all relevant parties on drawing up a totally new Constitution which is fair by all communities.
“The 13thAmendment of the National Constitution is a system that by large allows the greater participation of the people in the matter of governance,” the statement signed by the Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith on behalf of the organization said.
It said that although the 13th Amendment may not be perfect, pondering on this constitutional provision may lead to over centralization of authority and to international meddling in the internal affairs of this country at a time when Sri Lanka is striving to make permanent the hard won peace.
Stating 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 bishops advised the government not to proceed with the proposed revision to the 13th Amendment or to its total repeal.
The bishops advised the government to discuss the 13th Amendment through a Parliamentary Select Committee and consider a totally new Constitution which would guarantee “justice, peace and prosperity for all citizens of the country regardless of their ethnic, religious or social differences.”