UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday stressed the need to establish a new Parliament, scrapping the Executive Presidency through a referendum.
Mr. Wickremesinghe made these proposals at a seminar organised by the Professionals for Democracy held at the Galle Face Hotel last morning.
“The citizens of this country have spoken out against the childish behaviour of MPs in the House. I propose that a new Parliament is needed. We have to listen to the voice of the people and punish the MPs who misbehaved recently. The President seems to be ignoring the legislature. If that is the case we will scrap the executive presidency through a referendum. A new Parliament could help achieve this goal,” he added.
“We have moved towards preserving democracy and towards safeguarding the constitution. The judiciary has also moved towards the same. This is not sufficient as we have to move towards scrapping the executive presidency by a referendum. We need the support of all the professionals to achieve this,” he said.
Mr. Wickremesinghe said he offered to resign and go home when he head former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was appointed Prime Minister but remained following the advice of others. He said he realized that there was a great force backing him to fight for democracy.
Referring to the statement made by President Maithripala Sirisena that he will not appoint him as the Prime Minister even though all 225 MPs request him to do so, Mr. Wickremesinghe said he is not bothered by it as it was the President that will have to face the consequences and no one else.
Finally, he said he will respond to Mr. Sirisena though his culture. “I was ridiculed, criticized and scolded. I will reply to the President through my culture.
Akosha Bamuna once ridiculed and criticized the Buddha. Then Buddha asked him if he offers refreshment to a visitor and the latter refuses the food that is offered, then who does that food belong to. Akosha said that food belongs to him. Then Buddha answered him saying he will not accept the scolding and criticisms which Akosha made. You can have all that he told Akosha.
Likewise, I will also not accept the criticism and ridicule from President Sirisena. I will not scold him or criticise him and he can take back all that he has said thereafter,” Mr. Wickremesinghe said.
(Source: Daily Mirror – By Yohan Perera)