ISSN 2330-717X

Sri Lanka: President Promises New Government This Week

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To introduce constitutional changes to enhance the power of parliament  

The President of Sri Lanka, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, in a special telecast to the nation on Wednesday, said that he would take steps to appoint a Cabinet of Ministers and a Prime Minister this week, who can command a majority in Parliament and earn the trust of the people.

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He further said that he would discuss with all stakeholders the question of introducing constitutional amendments to strengthen the positive features of the 19 th. Amendment (which was repealed in 2020) and provide more powers to parliament.

The President condemned the violence on May 9 and 10 and said: “Irrespective of party affiliations, I condemn the initial actions that led to the unruly incidents on May 9. I have instructed the IGP to conduct an impartial inquiry.”

He also condemned the retaliatory violence indulged in by anti-government elements and pointed that scores of houses and other properties had been destroyed or burnt and many were killed in those violent actions.

He said that instructions had been issued to the tri-forces and the police to use necessary force to prevent violence and harassment of people. Unlawful gangs are checking vehicles and subjecting suspects to vigilante justice.  

The Defense Ministry has said that the law enforcement agencies will open fire if required.

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During the day, the President met former Prime Ministers Mahinda Rajapaksa and Ranil Wickremesinghe to discuss the political and economic situation and how to solve the grave questions before the country.

The island-wide curfew would be lifted at 7 am on Thursday, but only to be imposed against at 2 pm. That will be lifted at 6 am on Friday.

Meanwhile, the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) is touting the idea of putting up former cabinet minister and parliament Speaker Karu Jayasuriya for the post of Prime Minister in a national multi-party interim government. As per the BASL’s proposals the interim government will be in place for six months to bring about constitutional changes like the abolition of the Executive Presidency, and then hold elections for a fresh parliament.

P. K. Balachandran

P. K. Balachandran is a senior Indian journalist working in Sri Lanka for local and international media and has been writing on South Asian issues for the past 21 years.

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