Sri Lanka Prime Minister agrees to 19th Amendment with amendments

Sri Lanka Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa at Sri Lanka Parliament

Sri Lanka Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said the 19th Amendment to the Constitution should be implemented with essential and timely amendments to establish socio economic and political stability to address the issues of the people.

Making a statement in Parliament on the existing economic crisis yesterday, he said the government admits the people in the country are facing many difficulties.He added that the LPG, fuel and electricity crisis are only the visible issues and there are many untold issues arising from those issues. He also added that the country is facing a crisis where all have to get together to find a way out.”This is not a time to fish in the troubled waters to gain petty political gains,” the Prime Minister said.

He said further as a government, plans to overcome the situation should be implemented. He added that irrespective of political differences all have to get together to find a solution and with that in mind the government earlier extended the invitation to all political parties to join with the government in that endeavour. He added that the invitation is still valid.

“Fiscal management is very important to overcome this situation,” the Premier said “Hence internationally recognised economic experts have been appointed to high ranking positions. Additionally we have already initiated dialogues with the IMF, World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and other related institutions.We are getting constructive responses. In addition, friendly countries are assisting us to get out of this situation.”

He said the Finance Minister, Finance Ministry Secretary and the Central Bank Governor are committed to bring this issue back to normal. Our responsibility at this moment is to find a lasting solution for this issue while applying short term measures to relieve the people’s difficulties. “Hence the opposition should make an intervention in this endeavour rather than resuming protests,” the Premier said. “I invited protestors at the Galle Face to discussions to get their valuable views.”

He said further the reason for the long hours power cuts is the non construction of power plants at the right times. He added that the opportunity to convert ourselves to renewable energy has been neglected and there was no point in finding fault in past decisions. He added that the government is taking corrective measures. He expressed his hope that the issue would be able to be addressed soon as there is ample rainfall to the up country and provision of fuel to the thermal power plants. He added that the issue would be solved gradually.

He said further that the LPG and fuel issue also would be solved within a few weeks. He added that there would not be a shortage of fuel. He added that then the queue culture would be changed.

He said further that in all these endeavours socio-economic and political stability is required which could be brought about by way of a new constitution.

He added as an initial step I believe the 19th Amendment to the Constitution should be implemented democratically with essential and timely amendments.

He added that it should go forward to bring about a new constitution. He added that the government expects the assistance of all political Parties.

(Source: Daily News – By Sandasen Marasinghe and Camelia Nathaniel)