JHUAthuraliye Rathana Thera and President Sirisena
There is an attempt to water down the promise given to the public at the presidential election to abolish the executive presidency through the 19th amendment to the constitution, reports say.
At the high level discussions regarding this constitutional change, the JHU has argued that the promise given should be defined again.
Minister Rajitha Senaratne, who has built a close link with Athuraliye Rathana Thera, is supporting the JHU stance, say our sources. There are also allegations that minister Senaratne has got together with the JHU to secure the SLFP general secretary position, and is trying to gain cheap publicity by making pointless remarks at media briefings.
The JHU says the executive presidency should not be abolished altogether, as per its Pivithuru Hetak programme.
However, prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and former president Chandrika Kumaratunga have disagreed. So, do the intellectuals, including Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera who is giving leadership to the social movement for the abolition of the executive presidency.
President Maithripala Sirisena too, has said there should be an amendment for the complete abolition of the executive presidency following his tenure. There is common consensus that he should continue to have certain powers of the executive presidency.
However, in light of president Sirisena’s operational structure being going to the hands of the JHU and anti-Ranil groups, there is a danger of only a watering down of the executive presidency, say our sources.