Proposed constitutional amendments:
Minister confident of UPFA constituent parties support
United People’s Freedom Alliance General Secretary cum Petroleum
Industries Minister Susil Premajayantha yesterday expressed confidence
that the proposed constitutional amendments would be supported by all
UPFA constituent partners. The Minister said all forces supportive of
the UPFA would back President Mahinda Rajapaksa to go ahead with the
The Minister referring to the pre-1978 Constitution pointed out that
it did not curtail the number of terms of the Prime Minister who was the
Executive according to the former Constitution. Although the 1978
Constitution which introduced the present Presidential system curtailed
the number of terms of the President, the Minister said that as the
President is appointed according to the people’s wishes, the decision to
appoint or not to appoint should vest with the people and limiting the
number of terms should not come in between.
The Minister while identifying Presidency as a key tool which helped
the nation in its battle to defeat terrorism, said doing away with the
two term clause to ensure continuity of the incumbent is a need of the
Minister Premajayantha said President Rajapaksa had to face many
challenges during his first term such as terrorism, world economic
recession, natural disasters etc.
However, the Minister said Sri Lanka successfully emerged from this
period of transition by defeating terrorism, uniting the country and
ushering an era of peace.
Even in the face of such odds , Minister Premajayantha said the
country’s economy grew with foreign reserves crossing the US $ 6 billion
In addition tourist arrivals recorded an unprecedented boom.
Development initiatives which could not be enacted during the last 30
years such as airports, harbours, roads etc got off the ground.
The people would reap development projects benefits in the next few
years, he said.
The Minister pointed out that the remnants of the elements who tried
to divide the country are still at large scheming to distabilise the
country from both within and outside.
He pointed out that for the greater good of the nation it is
imperative to give continuity to a leadership which stood and would
continue to stay upright in the face of challenges.
He pointed out that the core of the success behind countries like
Malaysia and Singapore has been the continuity of such brave, prudent
and unwavering political leadership.
The Minister pointed out that increasing the number of terms of the
Presidency to ensure continuity would be pivotal to strengthen democracy
and ensure greater stability of the nation.