19th Amendment failed to fulfill its objectives | Daily News
President tells Constitutional Council debate in Parliament

19th Amendment failed to fulfill its objectives


President Maithripala Sirisena in a special to Parliament during the Constitutional Council debate yesterday said the legitimate child that has brought forth the 19th Amendment has deviated from its just path and the fate of 19th Amendment has now been twisted. The President said based on an election pledge he gave the country on January 8, 2015, he had brought forth the 19th Amendment with pure and noble intentions with the approval of 215 of the 225 Members of Parliament.

The President noted that as per the 19th Amendment, the Constitutional Council and the Independent Commissions were established, while its responsibilities, policies and guidelines were clearly included in the 19th Amendment. Ironically, though none of these have been fulfilled until today.

However, he vehemently rejected the criticism levelled against him, having distorted his statements over his statement in Parliament recently on the Independent Commissions.

“I have absolutely no objection regarding the judges who have been appointed. But, my issue is why the names that were submitted to the Constitutional Council were rejected. If a judge’s name has been rejected by the Constitutional Council, then they have a right to know why they were rejected. Even a labourer has the right to know why his promotion was rejected.  I tried to intervene on behalf of the judges who had felt dejected and whose hopes had been crushed. However, certain parties have tried to twist what I said and paint a different picture about me.”

President Sirisena said that if the appointments of judges to the Supreme Court and Appeal Courts is done in a transparent and fair manner, then he should have been notified. However, so far he had not been notified regarding the rejection of the nominated judges.

The President received a progress review report from the Constitutional Council every three months, but said that this matter had not been mentioned in them. He said today the legislature, executive and judiciary are all controlled by the constitutional Council, adding that a constitutional council should never override the powers of the Executive Presidential Powers.

The President noted that the other legitimate child he created was the Independent Commissions, but added that if these Independent Commissions are heading on the wrong path, the intensions of the people who expect democracy and good governance would not have their objectives fulfilled. President Sirisena is the only elected state leader in this era who had sacrificed his powers for the betterment of the people and with the most genuine intention of establishing a just society, adding that no matter what decision the supreme Parliament takes with regard to the abolishing of the Executive Presidency, he is ready to comply with that decision.


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The 19th was not presented to abolish the executive presidency as there were technical problems, but as the intentions of the law makers were not honourable even the composition of the constitution council was not done properly. This is why a New Constitution is needed, but it needs to be done without the lawmakers drafting it to prevent them producing another biased constitution. Not possible in a short time and President needs another term to get it done for people to approve it at a referendum.

Sir, we don't need a new constitution, what we need is people to have 'common decency' and that should start from the top. The very top (i.e. The president) has it, but the rest does not... 'decency' is a WIDE RANGING requirement from one's character... I am confident you understand what I say,

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