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* Sri Lanka PM stresses new Constitution will protect unitary status of the country
Sat, Jan 19, 2019, 11:07 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Jan 19, Colombo: Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Saturday asserted that the new Constitution would not change the unitary nature of the country.

Wickremesinghe emphasized that the United National Party continues to be of the stance that power should be devolved within a unitary state and he is prepared to support any program that would protect country's unitary state.

Participating at the opening of the Sangavasaya and the Dhamma School building at the Sri Pushparama Vihara in Galle, Karagoda, Yakkalamulla today, the Prime Minister said certain parties are talking about the country being divided when the government hasn't even formulated a Constitutional draft bill.

Speaking further the Premier said the statement made by the Chief Prelate of the Malwathu Chapter today need to be analyzed in depth.

"I saw a statement made by the Malwatte Mahanayake Thera on the proposed constitution in several newspapers today. We must study it in depth. Today, some claim that the new constitution will divide the country, the country will be split. In such a background, our Mahanayake Thero's message is very important."

The Premier said the opposition, without even seeing a constitution. Is carrying out false propaganda claiming that the government is going to divide the country. "We have no new constitution, not even a draft," he said.

However, the Premier said a Constitutional Assembly was formed with all members of the parliament and a steering committee was appointed representing all the parties with him as the chairman. All the proposals presented were discussed at the steering committee meeting.

An Interim Report was prepared according to the views and proposals and following a debate in Parliament on the interim report, a final report was prepared with the ideas and proposals emerged during the debate. That report has been presented to the parliament now, the Prime Minister clarified.

"If bill for a new constitution is brought, it needs to have two-thirds support in the Parliament. We do not know whether such support exists. It should be decided by the party leaders. If there is such support, let's prepare the constitution. If there is no such support, there is no point in formulating the constitution," the Premier said.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe also stressed that the time has come to develop the country instead of misleading the people claiming the new constitution will divide the country.


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