Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Sunday made a special reference to India while advocating strengthening of the existing laws to give more powers to Parliament.
In his special televised statement on the current constitutional reforms, Wickremesinghe said there is a need to change the structure of Parliament and create a new system by combining the existing system of Parliament or the Westminster system and the system of State Councils.
“First of all, the existing laws need to be strengthened in order to give those powers to Parliament in the exercise of monetary powers. Following the example of countries such as the United Kingdom, New Zealand and India, we are proposing a stronger and more powerful law,” he said while advocating the abolition of the Executive Presidency.
Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, currently enjoying unfettered power, is facing growing demands for his resignation for his government’s mishandling of the economy.
The functioning of the Parliament has been paralysed due to the weakening of the Parliamentary powers by the 20th Amendment, Wickremesinghe said, while batting for the 21st Amendment to the Constitution.
The 21st Amendment is expected to annul the 20A to the Constitution, which gives unfettered powers to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa after abolishing the 19th Amendment that will strengthen Parliament.
According to the new proposed 21A, the President will be held accountable to the Parliament. The Cabinet of Ministers is also accountable to Prliament. The National Council is also accountable to Parliament. Fifteen Committees and Oversight Committees are accountable to Parliament.
Sri Lanka is near bankruptcy and has severe shortages of essentials from food, fuel, medicines and cooking gas to toilet paper and matchsticks. For months, people have been forced to stay in long lines to buy the limited stocks.
Sri Lanka’s economic crisis has created political unrest with a protest occupying the entrance to the president’s office demanding his resignation continuing for more than 50 days