Image: Saman Rathnapriya speaking at a Puravesi Balaya meeting.
The behaviour of the Executive President has become a decisive reason to aggravate this political crisis. According to the election results, based on the 16.6% of votes obtained by the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, headed by the President, is attempting to remove the PM from the United National Party (UNP), which obtained 32% of the vote. This is a unjustifiable attempt. It cannot be done according to law. At the same time, when considering the election results, this is not ethical. If so the President should first quit his post.
Although, the legislature has to be strengthened in a democratic country, it is clearly apparent from this crisis, how the Executive Presidency is posing a serious threat towards the existence of the legislature. Even in history, Presidents such as Mahinda Rajapaksa and J. R. Jayawardena used the power of the Executive Presidency and brought destruction to the country. Therefore, we are demanding that the Executive President abolish the Executive Presidency at least now.
When the Yahapalana Government came to power in January 2015, the foremost assurance that was given to the people was that the Executive Presidency will be abolished. The main slogan of the National Movement for a Just Society, which was set up by the Late Venerable Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera, who was the pioneer of this Government of good governance, was this.
The President and the PM have signed two agreements with civil organizations that they will abolish the Executive Presidency. However, even though it was possible to abolish some of the arbitrary powers of the Executive President, through the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, the Government was not able to completely abolish the post. The reason for not doing this was the strong objections from political parties such as the Sri Lanka Freedom Party and the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU). However, the UNP, which introduced the Executive Presidency to the country, as well as the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) are strongly in favour of abolishing the Executive Presidency.
(Edited version of a news story appeared in Ceylon Today.)