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Idea of federalism rejected in new constitution says Sri Lankan president

Reiterating his commitment to an undivided Sri Lanka, the president, Maithripala Sirisena, said the idea of federalism was "totally rejected" in the new constitution. 

"Idea of federalism totally rejected in new constitution, Clauses on Status of Buddhism in the 1972 constitution will not change - President", the BBC Sinhala reporter, @AzzamAmeen tweeted.

Speaking at an event in the Gamunupura Buddhist Centre in Amparai on Friday, Mr Sirisena was quoted by Colombo Page as saying, "today we are a united Sri Lanka. I will never allow a constitution that will break up this unitary status."

"I must clearly say that we will never allow to make a constitution that will lead to destroy the unitary state of the country or separate the country," he stressed.

The official President’s Media Division quoted Mr Sirisena as also stating that “there is no draft proposal for a new constitution”.

“The report which presented to the Parliament merely taking into the consideration of ideas and suggestions of all the parties, leaving room for the alterations, discussions as well as for negotiation (sic),” he was stated to have said.      

He went on to declare that he will “not leave any room to change the given foremost place for Buddhism in the existing constitution”.