In his address to Parliament prior to the debate on the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, President Maithripala Sirisena said he was the only President who had been so flexible and committed to reducing or curtailing the absolute powers of the executive presidency.
He said several of his predecessors had promised to do so but unfortunately they failed to fulfil their promise and pointed out that appearances did not matter when electing a President but what mattered was a person’s character and his or her commitment to selflessly serve the country and the people instead of themselves.
“Sri Lanka has no international enemies now because of our successful approach towards the international community. The new government and its commitment to enact the 19th Amendment has received immense support from the international community,” the President said.
Urging all MPs to support the 19th Amendment, President Sirirsena told them not to discard this historical opportunity for the much-despised powers of the executive presidency to be pruned.
“This is what the people have been waiting to happen for the past 38 years. So let us not disappoint them,” he said.