The JHU yesterday presented a Private Member’s Bill to Parliament to abolish the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution.
It was presented by JHU Parliamentarian Ven. Aturaliye Ratana and is titled the Twenty First Amendment to the Constitution. The bill was seconded by UNP Puttalam District MP Palitha Range Bandara.
The Bill states that the 13th Amendment seeks to weaken the government of Sri Lanka whilst strengthening the Provincial Councils and thereby destroying the unitary character of the state, territorial integrity and the sovereignty of the people.
“Sri Lanka is a free, sovereign, independent and unitary state and it is the duty of the state to safeguard the independence, sovereignty, unity and the territorial integrity of Sri Lanka and the provisions of the 13th Amendment are a threat to the independence, sovereignty, unity and the territorial integrity of Sri Lanka,” the Bill states.
The bill has been introduced based on the premise that the 13th Amendment did not get the unanimous approval of the Supreme Court. The Bill states: -
“Supreme Court of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka did not approve the provisions of the 13th amendment bill as being consistent with the Constitution in as much as only four judges of the Supreme Court out of nine held that the approval of the people at a referendum was not required to enact the 13th amendment whilst five judges held that at least one or more of the provisions of the Bill was in violation of the Constitution and therefore required the approval of the people at a referendum” and so far it has not been approved in a referendum.
“The 13th amendment, though based on the constitutional structure of India, denies the government of Sri Lanka the right to intervene in the event of a province acting against the interests of the republic, although the Central government of India is empowered to intervene in similar situations. “
“The 13th amendment has sought to abdicate the legislative power vested in Parliament and the executive power vested in the President by the division of governmental power and restricted the Parliament and the President respectively exercising the legislative and executive power of the people and thereby offended the unitary character of the State.”
by Saman Indrajith