Lawyers, docs lead call for resignation of both Prez and PM

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… recommend Cabinet of 18, abolition of 20-A

A civil society group comprising professionals representing various field has called for the immediate resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, followed by Premier Mahinda Rajapaksa to pave the way for the election of a new President from among members of Parliament and the formation of a caretaker /interim national government with a new PM.

Calling themselves Direction Sri Lanka, the grouping has called for the establishment of a Cabinet of 18 members along with an equal number of Deputy Ministers, representing all political parties.

The group has rejected the swearing in of new Cabinet by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in response to ongoing public protests and campaign undertaken by the parliamentary opposition.

The signatories include many prominent lawyers, academics and medical doctors. The following is the text of a statement issued by Direction Sri Lanka titled ‘A step towards change’ following two days of consultations on April 18th and 19th:: The group deliberated at length;


the dire economic and social distress presently faced by all Sri Lankans and the proximate causes that led to the persistent demands of protestors throughout the country;

ii. The possibility of the current situation escalating to a complete breakdown in the Rule of Law resulting in a state of anarchy; and


The immediate action that needs to be taken to address this serious situation, within the framework of the Constitution and the Law.

The group resolved that;


THE FOLLOWING ACTION SHOULD BE TAKEN IMMEDIATELY a) His Excellency the President to resign forthwith in response to the demands of the People.


A Successor President be elected.


The Prime Minister to forthwith resign after the election of the Successor President.


[Article 38 (1) (b) of the Constitution provides for the resignation of the President by means of a communication addressed to the Speaker.]

[Article 40 (1) (a) of the Constitution provides for Parliament to elect as President one of its Members for the unexpired period of office.]

[Article 47 (2) (b) of the Constitution provides for the resignation of the Prime Minister by means of a communication addressed to the President. Upon the resignation of the Prime Minister, the entire Cabinet stands dissolved.]


A Caretaker / Interim National Government be immediately formed comprising a new Prime Minister and a Cabinet limited to 18 essential portfolios along with an equal number of Deputy Ministers, representing all political parties.


The Caretaker / Interim National Government shall function for a maximum period of one year.

The persons holding portfolios in the Caretaker / Interim Cabinet should have adequate and appropriate educational qualifications and specialized skills required to hold the respective portfolios and should be persons of the highest integrity.

Members of Parliament on the National List should be encouraged to resign as necessary, to pave way for professionals / experts of the highest integrity to be represented in the Caretaker / Interim National Government. e) As a priority during the period of the Caretaker / Interim National Government, action should be taken to rescind the 20th Amendment to the Constitution and to reintroduce the provisions of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution with necessary amendments addressing the democratic way of governance.


Immediately upon the reintroduction of the 19th Amendment, steps to be taken to appoint persons with the highest integrity and ability to the Independent Commissions.


a) Have a moratorium on the sale of the Country’s Assets (This will not be a bar for investments to come into the Country subject to due procedures, process and transparency).

b) Establish through legislation, a transparent Government Procurement Process which ensures accountability and the interest of the Country at all times.

c) Appoint a group of experts with core competencies in economic management to advice the Government on the steps to be taken to revive the economy of the country.

d) Upon such advice;

Secure Bridge Financing at concessionary interest rates and conditions. No commercial financing with commercial interest rates to be obtained during this period.

– Conclude agreements with the IMF and other Financial Agencies following due parliamentary process and with complete transparency.

– Take prompt action to ensure the provision of essential services and supplies to the public.

– Take all measures to stabilize the Rupee.



Hold National Elections (Presidential and Parliamentary as appropriate) within a maximum period of one year and enact such Constitutional amendments as may be necessary, reflecting the will of the people.

[In the attendant special circumstances and the weak economic situation, priority to be given to the conduct of National Elections respectively, over other elections including Local Government and Provincial Council Elections.]


Strictly observe the Rule of Law including the measures to protect and consolidate the wealth of the nation.

1.g) Take immediate measures to ensure the efficacy of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption.

We call upon the Government and the Opposition to take concerted action to ensure that the foregoing is implemented immediately.

Whilst we were in the process of drafting this Statement with Proposals, we heard the news of the death of a protester due to gunshot injuries. The use of lethal force against unarmed protesters is unacceptable and inexcusable. We unreservedly and unequivocally condemn such action. Such conduct will only result in infuriating the people.

We therefore call upon the Government to act with utmost restraint and ensure that the Fundamental Rights of the people including the Rights to Peaceful Protest and of Association, are protected and safeguarded.

On behalf of the People of Sri Lanka; (In alphabetical order)

Ramzara Abdeen, AAL

Neville Abeyratne, PC

Geoffrey Alagaratnam, PC

Mohamed Adamaly, AAL

Dr. Ajith Amarasingha

Dr. Naomali Amarasena

Rajeev Amarasuriya, AAL

Naceen Anthonypillai

Rienzie Arasakularatne, PC

G.G. Arulpragasam, AAL

Dr. Sunil Cooray, AAL

Prasantha Lal de Alwis, PC

Chanaka De Silva, PC

Dr. Sarath De Silva

Prof. Harendra De Silva

Dr. Sarath Gamini De Silva

Father Noel Dias, AAL

Dulitha Fernando

Prof. Ranvindra Fernando

Dr. Amitha Fernando

Nipuna Ganegoda

Dr. Upul Gunasekera

Mrs. Shiranthi Gunawardena, AAL

Dr. Rohan Gunawardene

Dr. Ruvaiz Haniffa

Prof. Siri Hettige

Gazzali Hussain, AAL

Kalinga Indatissa, PC

Nalinda Indatissa, PC

S.T. Jayanaga, PC

Janek Jayasekara

Shantha Jayawardena, AAL

Sanjeewa Kaluarachchi, AAL

Namal Karunaratne, AAL

Prof. Indika Karunathilleke

Prof. Prasad Katulanda

Thejitha Koralage, AAL

Dr. A. L. M. Nazar

Dr. S. Marasinghe

Ikram Mohamed, PC

Udara Muhandiramge, AAL

Faisz Musthapha, PC

Dinuka Perera

Dr. Nilupul Perera

Srinath Perera, PC

Dinal Philips, PC

Anushka Polonowita

Anuja Premaratne, PC

V. Puvitharan, PC

Dr. M. R. Ragunathan

Dr. Lalantha Ranasinghe

Pasindu Silva, AAL

Dr. Manilka Sumanathileke

Chavinka Sumanthilleke

Chrishmal Warnasuriya, AAL

Dr. Sunil Wijesinghe

Dr. Ananda Wijewickrama

Prof. Chandrika Wijeyaratne

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