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NewsUNP- SLFP Arrive at Consensus on Constitutional Assembly Process

UNP- SLFP Arrive at Consensus on Constitutional Assembly Process

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According to Deputy Government Whip Ajith P. Perera, MP,  the UNP and the SLFP has reached a consensus on drafting a new Constitution.

Addressing the media at the Information Department, MP Perera, who is also the Deputy Power and Renewable Energy Minister, claimed that all proposals made by the SLFP had been accommodated in the resolution for the setting up of the Constitutional Assembly, reported the Island.

Following are the sections of the Resolution (presented by PM Wickremesinghe on Jan. 09, 2015) with ammendments in bold type.

1.There shall be a Committee of Parliament hereinafter referred to as the ‘Constitutional Assembly’ which shall consist of all Members of Parliament, for the  purpose of deliberating, and seeking the views and advice of the People, on a new Constitution for Sri Lanka, and preparing a draft of a Constitution Bill for the consideration of Parliament in the exercise of its powers under Article 75 of the Constitution.

In paragraph 1 on page 1, delete the word ‘new’

2. The Hon. Speaker of Parliament shall be the Chairman of the Constitutional Assembly. There shall be seven (7) Deputy Chairmen of the Constitutional Assembly, who shall be elected by the Constitutional Assembly. In the absence of the Hon. Speaker, the Constitutional Assembly shall elect one of the Deputy Chairmen to chair the sittings of the Assembly.

3. The quorum for meetings of the Constitutional Assembly shall be twenty (20).

4. There shall be— (a) Constitutional Advisors to the Constitutional Assembly; (b) A Legal Secretary to the Constitutional Assembly and assistants to such Legal Secretary; (c) Staff for the purpose of recording the proceedings of the Constitutional Assembly and the Committees referred to in Clause 5; and (d) Media (including Social Media) Staff of the Constitutional Assembly. The Media Staff shall set up and maintain a website and use other appropriate media, towards giving due publicity to the process for the adoption of a new Constitution for Sri Lanka. The Media Staff shall ensure that the proceedings of the Constitutional Assembly and its Committees, as well as public representations / submissions are documented and published on such website along with such other relevant expert or technical opinions.

Delete paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 on page 1

5. There shall be the following Sub-Committees of the Constitutional Assembly:— (a) A Steering Committee consisting of the Prime Minister (Chairman), Leader of the House of Parliament, Leader of the Opposition, the Minister of Justice, and not more than seventeen (17) other Members of the Constitutional Assembly to be appointed by the Constitutional Assembly. The Steering Committee shall be responsible for the business of the Constitutional Assembly and for preparing a Draft of a new Constitution for Sri Lanka. (b) Such other Sub-Committees, consisting of Members of the Constitutional Assembly, which may be appointed by the Constitutional Assembly. Provided that each such Sub-Committee shall comprise of not more than eleven (11) Members. The Chairman of each Sub-Committee shall be appointed by the Steering Committee

Add the words “have the powers of a committee of the whole House and” after the words “Constitutional Assembly which shall” in paragraph 5 on page 1 (item 1) and delete the word ‘new’

14. Subject to the provisions hereof, the Constitutional Assembly is hereby authorized to determine the procedure and mechanisms to be adopted in the conduct of its  business: Provided that such determination shall be made pursuant to a Resolution moved by the Prime Minister with the concurrence of the Steering Committee.  Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the Standing Orders of Parliament, the rules of procedure of the Constitutional Assembly and its Sub-Committees shall be as set out in this Resolution

Delete the words “Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the Standing Orders of Parliament, the rules of procedure of the Constitutional Assembly and its Sub-Cornmi &hall be as set out in this Resolution” in item 14 on page 3, and substitute therefor, the following words “Save as otherwise expressly herein provided the Standing Orders of Parliament, shall apply to the proceedings of the Constitutional Assembly.”

20. The following procedure shall be adopted during the debate referred to in Clause 18:— The Chairman or in his absence one of the Deputy Chairmen shall read the number of each Clause in succession.

(i) Any amendment may be made to a Clause, or Clauses may be deleted or new Clauses may be added

The principle of the Draft Constitution shall not be discussed during this stage of the debate but only its details.

(iii) No amendment can be proposed inconsistent with any decision come to upon any previous part of the Draft Constitution.

(iv) After a Draft Constitution has been read through, and prior to the conclusion of the debate on the Draft, any Member may, with leave of the Chairman, move an amendment of any Clause already passed.

(v) A Clause may be postponed, unless upon an amendment thereto a question shall have been fully put from the Chair.

(vi) Postponed Clauses shall be considered after the remaining Clauses of the Draft Constitution have been considered and before new Clauses are brought in.

(vii) New Clauses may be offered before the Schedules to the Draft Constitution are considered and shall be deemed to have been read the first time. The questions which follow thereupon shall be “That the Clause be read a second time” and “That the Clause (or the Clause as amended) be added to the Draft”.

(viii) New Schedules may be offered after the Schedules to the Draft Constitution have been disposed of and shall be treated in the same manner as new Clauses.

(ix) When every Clause and Schedule and proposed new Clause or Schedule have  been dealt with, the Preamble, if there be one, shall be considered and a question put “That this be the Preamble of the Draft “.

(x) If any amendment be necessary to the title of the Draft Constitution, it

shall  be made at the conclusion of the proceedings detailed above.

21. The provisions of Standing Order Nos. 42, 43 and 44 of the Parliament shall

mutatis mutandis apply to the proceedings of the Constitutional Assembly.

22. If two-thirds of the Constitutional Assembly does not approve the resolution on

the Draft Constitution, the Constitutional Assembly and the Committees referred to in this Resolution shall stand dissolved.

23. If the Constitutional Assembly approves the Resolution on the Draft Constitution by a two-thirds majority, the Report and the Draft Constitution shall be submitted by the Steering Committee to the Cabinet of Ministers, and thereupon the Constitutional Assembly and the Sub-Committees referred to isn this Resolution shall stand dissolved.

24. The Cabinet of Ministers shall certify the Bill contained in such Report as a Bill to repeal and replace the Constitution as a whole in terms of Article 75(b) and Article 120(b) of the Constitution and that such Bill is intended to be passed swith the special majority required by Article 83 of the Constitution and submitted to the People by Referendum

Deleted items 20 – 24 on pages 4—5 and substituted with the following paragraphs:

20. If a simple majority of the Constitutional Assembly does not approve the resolution on the Draft Constitution, the Constitufional Assembly and the Committees referred to in this Resolution shall stand dissolved.

21. If only a simple majority of the Constitutional Assembly approves the resolution on the Draft Constitution, the resolution shall be referred to the Parliament, and, if a two-thirds majority of the whole number of the Members of Parliament, including those not present approves the Report and the Draft Constitution within one month, the Draft Constitution shall be submitted to the Cabinet of Ministers, and the provisions of clause 23 hereof shall thereafter apply, and the Constitutlonal Assembly and the Committees referred to in this Resolution shy stand dissolved.

22. If the Constitutional Assembly approves the Resolution on the Draft Consfitution by a two-thirds majority of the whole number of the Members of Parliament, Including those not, present, the Report and the Draft Constitution shall be submitted by the Steering Committee to the Cabinet of Ministers. The Deport and the Draft Constitution shall also be presented to Parliament. Thereupon the Constitutional Assembly and the Sub-Committees referred to in this Resolution shall stand dissolved.

23. The Cabinet of Ministers shall certify the Bill contained in such Report as a Bill to repeal and replace the Constitution as a whole in terms of the Constitution and that such Bill is intended to be passed with the special majority required by Article 83 of the Constitution and submitted to the People by Referendum. Thereafter the provisions of the Constitution relating to enactment of such a Bill shall be followed.

The Island

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