SL govt likely to submit new Constitution draft in 6 months

The Sri Lankan government is expected to submit the initial draft for a new Constitution to Parliament within six months, a Minister announced here.

Speaking at a news briefing on Monday, Education Minister Professor G.L. Peiris said a nine-member specialists committee appointed by the Cabinet has already started work to prepare the draft, the Daily Mirror newspaper reported.

“The specialists’ committee headed by Romesh de Silva PC has already started work. Based on their recommendations, the first draft for a new Constitution will be submitted in Parliament within six months,” he said.

“Until such time, the 20th Amendment to the Constitution was brought in to get rid of grave repercussions resulted in 19A.”

The Minister said the opinions and views of everyone, including the specialists and opposition parties, will be considered in the Constitution-making process.

“We will not bring in the new Constitution in an arbitrary manner. All opinions will be considered as a Constitution will have to last for decades. Only the draft will be completed in six months.

“The Constitution making process will start from six months and will continue uninterrupted,” the Daily Mirror quoted Peiris as further saying.

Meanwhile, a total 21 petitions were filed in the Supreme Court on Monday against the 20th Amendment to the Constitution which was tabled in Parliament by the government earlier this month.

This would replace the 19th Amendment introduced in 2015 that curtailed the powers of the President and strengthened the role of Parliament.

Out of the 21, two petitions have been filed by National Election Commission member Ratnajeevan Hoole and United National Party Deputy Leader Ruwan Wijewardene, the Daily Mirror reported.

Altogether, 39 petitions have been filed against the 20A so far.