National Movement for Social Justice (NMSJ) Chairman and former Speaker Karu Jayasuriya yesterday urged President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to stop deceiving people and the international community and implement the 19th
Amendment without further delay.
Jayasuriya at a media briefing recalled the assurance the President gave the UN Secretary General and the international community, that he would protect Sri Lanka’s democracy and the people’s human rights.
The President also quite publicly stated he would see to the re-enactment of the 19th Amendment to the Parliament and claimed he will not object to the abolishment of the Executive Presidency.
Additionally, the President also pledged to the country’s people and its religious leaders that a new Constitution would be adopted within a year of coming into power and the provision allowing dual citizens to hold Parliamentary seats will be removed.
“These promises were given by none other than the President of the Republic of Sri Lanka. However, he has failed to deliver to date. No Constitution has been brought forward and the promise has been limited to mere words,” alleged Jayasuriya.
“One must question then if the international community will trust a Head of State that has openly violated promises and assurances given before the world to the people of his own country. Will his countrymen put their trust in him? Will investors trust him? Will those who deal with our country on various levels trust him?” queried NMSJ Chief.
“We are ashamed and embarrassed to point out these facts but it must be done as the Sri Lankan Government is openly violating the many promises made to its people at its inception. The President must realise these actions would only bring disrepute to not only himself but also to the Sri Lankan people he represents,” Jayasuriya added
He argued that the people’s representatives and the general public are being forced to live under a dictatorial regime that blatantly violates the principles of democracy as long as the 20th Amendment to the Parliament remains in force. “The President has powers beyond the judiciary while the people’s representatives are helpless without power. One man controls the fate of an entire population of over 22 million,” Jayasuriya opined.
Noting that there is strong opposition to the 20th Amendment in the country, he said according to surveys carried out, religious leaders, as well as 82% of the population, believe that the country was destroyed by this draconian Constitution and therefore it should be scrapped immediately.
“Therefore, we call on the Government led by President Rajapaksa, to implement the promised reforms immediately as we have observed the increasing interest regarding these matters among the general public. We make these comments with great responsibility. We, therefore, request the Government to not enrage the people further by presenting various excuses. We hear the same calls from across the country, the struggle and the protests. These calls will only grow stronger.
“Therefore, we ask the Government to not underestimate the rising opposition against it,” Jayasuriya emphasised.
Disclaimer: Stop deceiving people, implement 19A fast: Karu urges President Rajapaksa - Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Latheefarook.com point-of-view