The Sri Lanka Freedom Party called for the retention of the island’s executive presidency, alongside the continued demerger of the Northern and Eastern provinces and the foremost place on the island to be granted to Buddhism, in a series of decisions regarding constitutional reform, at a meeting of minister last week.
The Sunday Times reported that during the meeting, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva briefed his colleagues on the latest developments regarding the constitution, after which it was decided,
"The unitary status of Sri Lanka should be protected and no changes should be made to that provision."
"There should be no change to provisions in the Constitution with regard to Buddhism."
"There should be no merger of the Northern and Eastern Provinces."
"No referendum should be held for adopting a Constitution. The SLFP is for provisions which require only a two thirds vote in Parliament."
"There should be a full implementation of the 13th Amendment in granting devolution of power"
Also agreed on during the meeting was a proposal not to abolish Sri Lanka’s Executive Presidency – a move that was unanimously accepted. Sri Lanka’s current president Maithripala Sirisena, who campaigned two years ago on abolishing the executive presidency, reportedly “did not make any comments”.
The merging of the Northern and Eastern provinces is a key demand put forward by the Tamil National Alliance, as part of ongoing talks with regards to a new constitution for the island. A draft of the constitution was due to be submitted to parliament for debate this week, but has since been postponed.
See more from the Sunday Times here and here.