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Demands for a public referendum on 20th Amendment

Sri Lankan lawyer, Indika Gallage, has filed a petition with the Supreme Court challenging the draft of the 20th Amendment to the constitution and requesting a public referendum on the bill.

This petition comes, on Tuesday, after the amendment was presented in parliament for a first reading. It argues that the draft amendment violates basic rights enshrined in the Constitution. If passed by the Supreme Court, the public referendum would be required in addition to the two-thirds majority in parliament.

This comes after building tensions in parliament, as the opposition staged a protest when the draft 20th amendment was presented. The amendment has also faced public pushback and international criticism, including from the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

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