20A in the House this week

By Skandha Gunasekara

The draft of the 20th Amendment to the Constitution will be presented to Parliament this week, while changes will be made at the committee stage in the House, The Sunday Morning learnt.

Minister of Trade Dr. Bandula Gunawardana said that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had instructed to proceed with presenting the draft 20th Amendment and stated that changes could be made thereafter.

“The President noted that this was only till the new Constitution comes in and said that it should be presented to Parliament as soon as possible. Any amendments or changes that are needed can be made during the committee stage debates in Parliament.” He said that the committee appointed by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa was only for the purpose of evaluating the 20th Amendment draft proposal.

“It was not duty bound to make any recommendations. It was only to review the draft of the 20th Amendment. Consequently, the President said to expedite the process.” He said that the 20th Amendment is likely to be tabled in Parliament on Tuesday (22). “A date hasn’t been fixed yet and our group meeting will decide on Sunday (today), but I expect it will be presented to Parliament on Tuesday.”

Meanwhile, Deputy General Secretary of Parliament Neil Iddawela had told the media that the 20th Amendment Bill would be included in the Parliament Order Book on 22 September.