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Leaked document reveals Supreme Court approval of 20th Amendment

A document that has been released in public domain and on multiple news websites shows that the Supreme Court will approve the proposed 20th Amendment to the Sri Lankan constitution.

The Sri Lankan Speaker of Parliament is scheduled to announce the Supreme Court determination officially on the 20th of October.  

It has not been confirmed yet whether the document that is circulating is the document that will be presented on October 20th. If the Supreme Court does approve the 20th Amendment, there could be a vote in Parliament as early as November.

There were a record number of petitions filed to the Supreme Court regarding the 20th Amendment, many of which called for a public referendum on the amendment. The petitions were filed after the opposition staged a protest in Parliament and the amendment received public pushback and international criticism, including from the High Commissioner of Human Rights.

The 20th Amendment would expand the powers of the president dramatically and scale back constitutional checks and balances on executive power. 

The Center for Policy Alternatives said, “the opportunity to challenge the executive actions of the President through fundamental rights applications has been removed, suggesting that the President is above the law […] These fundamental changes to the constitutional separation and balance of powers will seriously undermine the accountability of the government and pose a significant challenge to existing democratic norms embodied in the Constitution.”

Read more from the CPA here.

 

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