[Mangala Samaraweera, Athuraliye Rathana and Ranil Wickremasinge]
Speaking at the Budget debate in Parliament, MP Samaraweera dropped a bombshell on 31st October. Making a historical analysis on the ethnic crisis, taking examples from the conduct of leaders from the two main political parties since the past Mr. Samaraweera told parliament that proposed 19th Constitutional Amendment by the Jathika Hela Urumaya would deprive the Tamil masses of the minority powers already granted to them.
The UNP, the party Mr. Samaraweera represent has already pledged its support to the 19th Amendment. Speaking at the budget debate just six days before, on 25th October UNP leader Ranil told parliament that it backs the proposed 19th Amendment to the Constitution and wants it passed in Parliament without a debate if other political parties also support it.
“Rathana Thera’s 19th Amendment has the support of the UNP. So if there is a move to bring it as an urgent bill then i suggest that we be consulted first. I am sure others will also agree to discuss it. If others also agree it can be passed without a debate,” Wickremesinghe told Parliament.
Contradicting his leader Mr. Samaraweera told parliament that the one who would be most tickled by such proposals would be none other than Velupillai Prabhakaran, ‘probably looking at this from wherever world he is in right now.’
19th amendment does not propose to abolish the executive presidency but envisage number of checks and balances to the constitution.
UNP leader has sidelined Mr. Samaraweera after Sajith Premadasa who represent anti- devolution Sinhala nationalist groups in the UNP was made deputy leader of the party. Sajith Premadasa follows that same Sinhala nationalist political line as President Rajapaksa on the issues of accountability for war time crimes and political solution based on power sharing.