Stating that the passing of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution marked a major stride for democracy, Lawyers Collective urges all political parties to use the next general election to obtain a fresh mandate to abolish the Executive Presidency fully in an appropriate manner.
Lawyers Collective expressed their disappointment at the attempt by few MPs to politicize the public service and regretted on how a section of MPs made every attempt to prevent the passing of the Amendment and later to dilute it.
“The passage of the 19A is a victory for all communities,” Lawyers’ Collective said.
The full text of the statement states:
“Passing of the 19th Amendment by Parliament, respecting the mandate of the people marks a major stride for democracy,
“We note with gratitude, in particular, the commitment of civil society led by Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhitha, and the political commitment and matured political leadership of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe. The Public, civil society, various political parties, professional groups and trade unions deserve credit for their support. The 19th Amendment is a victory of all communities. Lawyers Collective is aware of the great commitment and efforts shown by the National Executive Council and the drafting committee in achieving this goal.
“Lawyers Collective keenly monitored the process of the passage of the Amendment, expecting the whole-hearted support of the parliamentarians. Unfortunately it is regretted that a section of parliamentarians, closely associated with the former autocratic President Rajapakse, made every attempt to prevent the passing of the Amendment and later their efforts to dilute its fundamental features. We are disappointed that some of the MPs wanted to continue with a politicized public service by appointing a Constitutional Council consisting of Members of Parliament. We are happy to note the commitment shown by the President, Prime Minister and political leaders and Members of Parliament in getting the Amendment through with such a massive majority.
“We urge all political parties to use the next general election to obtain a fresh mandate to abolish Executive Presidency fully in an appropriate manner.”
JC Weliamuna & Chandrapala Kumarage