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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Joint statement: Repeal the 20th amendment immediately

We are a group of civil organizations and civil society activists who are committed to the political, social, and economic stability as well as the good governance of Sri Lanka Today, Sri Lanka is facing a crisis which is the most severe one since the independence. It is evident from the announcement of the government as well that the economic crisis has turned into a political crisis and now it is turning to a humanitarian tragedy.

The main reason for the disaster faced by Sri Lanka is that the Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s administration which was strengthened by the 20th amendment to the constitution. The main demand of the protests spearheaded by the youth countrywide as well as at the Galleface protest site was that the President Gotabaya Rajapakse should resign. In the background of his government has resigned along with the Prime Minister the President addressing the nation on May 11, said that he would take steps to amend the constitution to re-enact the contents of the 19th Amendment to further empower the Parliament and he would hold discussions on the abolition of the Executive Presidency during a specific period. The new Prime Minister appointed by the President as a solution to the crisis also said that the 21st amendment to the constitution will be introduced to empower the parliament.

After a lapse of almost one month from the said address to the nation by the President and appointing a new Prime Minister, but the 21st amendment was not approved by the Parliament andthe approval of the same by the Cabinet of Ministers is getting delayed day by day. Our observation is that this is contrary to the public opinion at present and a failure to achieve the political stability which is needed to bring the immediate solutions to the economic crisis.

The political stability and the democratic atmosphere caused by the enactment of 21 amendment which strengthens the power of Parliament and establishes democracy, are required to get the national and international support in solving the economic crisis. If not, it is our observation that Sri Lanka may lose the possibility of getting such assistance which may lead to a humanitarian disaster.

It is an inalienable responsibility of the President, Prime Minister, the Cabinet of Ministers, parliamentarians of the government and the parliamentarians of the opposition including the leader of the opposition that to avoid such humanitarian disaster. Therefore, we demand that the President, government parliamentarians including the Prime Minister and the opposition parliamentarians including the leader of the opposition and all leaders of political parties should take immediate steps to repeal the 20th amendment to the constitution and enact the 21stamendment immediately, taking into consideration the proposals of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka and the constitutional amendments tabled by the opposition. They should actively intervene to produce it to the Parliament and thereby support to establish a credible interim government accepted by all national and international stakeholders. We also request the general public of the countryto pressurize the authorities to enact the said 21st amendment to the constitution by intervening democratically.

Civil organizations

  • AluthKathabaha – Civil Society Network
  • Sri Lanka Government Ayurvedic Physicians Association
  • Right to Life Human Rights Centre– Colombo
  • Uva Shakthi Foundation- Badulla
  • Anuradhapura District Civil Society- Anuradhapura
  • Community Development Center – Rathnapura
  • Suya ShakthiyFundation – Hatton
  • Maubima Civil Peoples Monument – Colombo
  • United Professional Lecturers’ Society – Colombo
  • Unophia Society – Colombo
  • Government Ayurvedic Physicians for Just Society
  • United National Physician Association
  • United Human Rights Protection Organization
  • praja.lk
  • National Pension Grama Niladhari Association
  • All Ceylon United Teachers Union
  • Journalists for Rights
  • Collaborative Development Foundation – Anamaduwa
  • Rule of Law Centre – Colombo
  • aithiya.lk


Civil Society Activists

  1. Chandrakuptha Thenuwara – Colombo
  2. H.W. Cyril – Peradeniya
  3. Nimalka Fernando – Colombo
  4. Indi Akurugoda – Ruhuna
  5. Athulasiri Samarakoon – OUSL
  6. Prasad Hendawitharana – Colombo
  7. Piyal Deniyaya Perera
  8. Prasad Mohotti
  9. Shanika Hasangi Somadasa
  10. Keerthi Godadamuwa (Electric Engineer) – Colombo
  11. Gamini Ramawickrama (Civil Engineer) – Colombo
  12. Janaka Edirisinghe AAL – Colombo
  13. SudarshanaGunawardane AAL – Colombo
  14. DulanDasanayaka AAL – Kaluthara
  15. UdeniPriyanwada AAL – Colombo
  16. Upendra Gunasekara AAL – Wennappuwa
  17. ShehanWickramaratna AAL – (Charted Accounted)
  18. Mishel Tanya George LLB – Kandy
  19. PankajaNadukala LLB – Colombo
  20. Mark Imanthaka Fernando – Gampaha
  21. MissakaMunasinghe – Matale
  22. DamithHansakaPanditha – Galle
  23. Vimukthi Ratnayake – Kandy
  24. J. Amaratunga (Journalist) – Colombo
  25. Ajith Parakum Jayasinghe (Journalist) –Kaluthara
  26. Philip Dissanayake (Civil Society Activist) – Colombo
  27. Harsha Gunasena (Charted Accounted) – Colombo
  28. Lakshman Abesekara(Charted Accounted) – Colombo
  29. Sampath Samarakoon (Journalist) – Colombo
  30. WasanthiSenarathna (Civil Society Activist) – Colombo
  31. Sudesh De Silva (Journalist) – Kandy
  32. AmithaPriyanthi (Civil Society Activist) – Kaluthara
  33. Sarath Abeysinghe (Former President BBC Lanka) – Colombo
  34. Suresh Nadesan (Civil Society Activist) – Badulla
  35. Gnanaweera Dissanayake (Civil Society Activist) – Kurunegala
  36. Charles Ravi (Principal) – Ratnapura
  37. Nimal Dissanayake (Civil Society Activist) – Anuradhapura
  38. NilminiRatnasekara (Civil Society Activist) – Matara
  39. Tharanga L. Patabendi (Civil Society Activist) – Hambantota
  40. Selvaraj (Civil Society Activist) – Nuwara Eliya
  41. MaheshiLokumana (Trade Union)
  42. MudithaKeshaniPremathilaka (Trade Union)
  43. ManvirGalhena (Young Activist)
  44. Prasanga Fernando (Civil Society Activist)
  45. Lakmalee (Artist)
  46. NimalAbesinghe (Civil Society Activist) – Anamaduwa
  47. Indrapala S. Wickramasinghe (Teacher)
  48. InomaKarunathilaka (Psychiatrist)
  49. D. Kumara (Plantation Trade Union) – Deniyaya
  50. Pradeep Uduwana (Professional Lecturer)

Press Release – 09th June 2022


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