Commenting on the passage of Sri Lanka’s 20th Amendment (20A) to the constitution, the Deccan Herald writes that Sri Lanka has “taken a decisive step towards becoming a constitutional autocracy”.
In their statement, they note that the passage of the 20A has diminished the role of the Prime Minister to a “ceremonial one” and that “parliament has been reduced to a rubber stamp”.
They further note that this “distressing affair” has ostensibly been done to empower the presidency to “improve governance” however, they note that, “the concentration of power in the hands of one authority has never been good for any people”.
The 20A passed on the 22 October with a vote of 156 in favour and 64 opposed.
The Deccan Herald further warns against a powerful and triumphalist government repealing the 13th Amendment which secures a degree of autonomy to provincial councils. The Herald notes that whilst the 13th Amendment was originally the result of the 1987 India-Sri Lanka Accord, successive governments have refrained from implementing it.
India, the Herald writes, “will be watching but is unlikely to do much as it is more concerned about the Rajapaksa’s pro-China tilt than the well-being of Tamils”.
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