19th Amendment caused current political instability in Sri Lanka

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

The 19th Amendment to the Constitution is the cause of current political instability in the country, President Maithripala Sirisena has said.

Addressing the heads of media institutions at the Presidential Secretariat today (26), the President has emphasized that the 19th Amendment has created two leaders in Sri Lanka. Whoever wins the upcoming Presidential Election should take measures to abolish the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, the President has further said.

However, the President has remarked that abolishment of the 19th Amendment before the next Presidential Election would be the best for the country. Pointing out that the 19th Amendment to the Constitution is a curse to the nation, the President disregarded it as a need of the non-governmental organizations.

The country does not need a new Constitution, says the President. It is possible to abolish the 18th and 19th Amendments to the Constitution and adapt the previous Constitution, he further said. The President has highlighted that he is completely against the proposed Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) with the United States of America. A General Election will be held two months following the presidential election, the President noted.

President Sirisena also dismissed the rumours on a possible referendum. “I don’t know whether the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was prepared by constitutional experts or whether it was done by some political ‘makabas’,” President Sirisena questioned.

“Despite whoever comes to power without abolishing the 19th Amendment, there will be two governments in the country; one that is controlled by the Presidential Secretariat and another by the Temple Trees,” President Sirisena claimed. During the meeting, the President revealed that he has already signed the order to impose the death penalty for 4 prisoners who were convicted of drug dealing. These four death penalties will be carried out soon, he added. Speaking further, the President has called the Special Parliamentary Select Committee is a ‘drama’ scripted by the Temple Trees.