Oct 03, Colombo: Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said Sri Lanka was a united nation in 1947 where all Sinhalese, Tamil, Muslim, Burgher and people of other races lived with the feeling that they were all Sri Lankans. But ethnic conflict erupted over 60 years and separatism sentiments extended to a war.
Addressing the House at the special session held to mark the 70th anniversary of Sri Lanka's parliament Tuesday, the Premier noted that, the Sri Lankan parliament safeguarded democracy through all that time while the terrorism tried to destroy that democracy. However the country is yet to find a political solution and regain the country's unity, he said.
He also said that providing a political solution to the main national question, the ethnic problem is paramount to be able to achieve economic prosperity. A rapid development program should be undertaken in order to have a well-developed economy, by the time parliament celebrates its 80th anniversary, he said.
The Prime Minister pointed out that the present government has taken steps to strengthen the parliamentary democracy through the enactment of several Acts and the enactment of the 19th Constitutional Amendment vested more power to the parliament.
The Premier highlighted that the present unity government established a number of independent commissions and strengthened the powers vested with the Parliament. The powers vested in parliament have been enhanced through steering committees, finance committees providing a platform to ask the prime minister questions.