Oct 13, Colombo: Sri Lanka’s Catholic leaders today urged the government not to proceed with the proposed 20th Amendment to the Constitution as the concentration of power in an individual without checks and balances does not augur well for a Democratic, Socialist Republic.
The Catholic Bishops' Conference issuing a media statement said, instead the government should introduce a new Constitution that ensures the transparent democracy, the rule of law and the equality of all citizens.
The statement signed by President of Catholic Bishops' Conference, Rt. Rev. Dr. Winston Fernando, Bishop of Badulla and Secretary General, Rt. Rev. Dr. J.D. Anthony Jayakody, Auxiliary Bishop of Colombo said that there is no reason to move forward with the 20th Amendment.
The Catholic bishops noted that all presidents who have been in power since 1994 have pledged to abolish the executive presidency with powers vested in it by the 1978 Constitution and transfer power to the democratically elected Parliament, but none had the political will to do so for reasons not unknown to the people.
“We need to emphasize that concentration of power in an individual without checks and balances does not augur well for a Democratic, Socialist Republic,” the Bishops said.
Following is the statement issued by the Catholic Bishop’s Conference