Facebook icon
Twitter icon
e-mail icon

Sri Lanka’s Catholic Bishops express ‘grave concern’ over 20th Amendment

Responding to the proposed 20th Amendment, which seeks to centralise power within the presidency and to weaken checks and balances, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference expressed grave concern stating that it would not strengthen Sri Lankan democracy.

Mahinda Rajapaksa has maintained that the 20th Amendment is necessary to bring forwards a strong government and has attacked the 19th Amendment, claiming that it was “brought in to take personal revenge” upon him and that it made the constitution “a joke”.

The 2020 parliamentary election granted the Rajapaksa administration a two-third majority which would enable for a repeal of the 19th amendment. However, the Catholic Bishops warn that;

“A two-thirds majority of the members in Parliament based on political parties does not necessarily manifest the true conscience of the people”.

They further called on Sri Lanka’s Parliament to appoint an “independent Constitutional Council” to ensure that a new Constitution would uphold “transparent democracy, the rule of law and the equality of all citizens”.

The Speaker of Sri Lanka’s parliament has said that he will announce the determination of the Supreme Court on petitions related to the 20th Amendment on October 20th. The General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party Dayasiri Jayasekara said that the 20th Amendment will be passed before the budget is presented to Parliament November 17th.

Read more at FT Lanka.

We need your support

Sri Lanka is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a journalist. Tamil journalists are particularly at threat, with at least 41 media workers known to have been killed by the Sri Lankan state or its paramilitaries during and after the armed conflict.

Despite the risks, our team on the ground remain committed to providing detailed and accurate reporting of developments in the Tamil homeland, across the island and around the world, as well as providing expert analysis and insight from the Tamil point of view

We need your support in keeping our journalism going. Support our work today.

For more ways to donate visit https://donate.tamilguardian.com.