News

Constitutional amendment: 21A to Cabinet on 6 June

  • 21A Bill will not be taken up at tomorrow’s Cabinet 
  • Final decision at this Friday’s party leaders’ meet

By Our Political Editor 

The Government’s proposed 21st Amendment to the Constitution will not be taken up for a decision at the Cabinet meeting tomorrow (30) and will instead be taken up for final approval by the Cabinet of Ministers on 6 June, The Sunday Morning learns.

The initial decision to discuss the draft Amendment Bill at the parliamentary party leaders’ meeting last Friday (27) and take it up for Cabinet approval on Monday (30) was delayed by a week following Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s decision to hold another party leaders’ meeting this Friday (3 June) to finalise the draft 21st Amendment Bill.

Justice Minister Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe told The Sunday Morning that the decision to delay the final approval by a week and to hold another party leaders’ meeting this week was made to accommodate views and proposals of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), which was unable to attend last week’s party’ meeting.

“We believe it is important to get the views and proposals of the representatives of the Northern Province to ensure that the proposed amendment covers the views of political parties of the whole country,” he said.

The Minister added that some of the recommendations made by several political parties at last Friday’s meeting would also be taken up for discussion again this Friday before making a final decision on including them in the 21st Amendment Bill.

The Bill with the final amendments will then be taken up for decision by the Cabinet of Ministers on 6 June. 

Last Friday’s meeting was attended by representatives of the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB), Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), the group of 10 (G-10) governing alliance parties, and the SLPP independent group.

The SJB continued to call for the abolition of the Executive Presidency. However, a majority at the meeting felt that the proposed 21st Amendment should first bring back the provisions of the 19th Amendment and subsequently push for the abolition of the Executive Presidency.