Social media will have a role in drafting new constitution - PM
January 17, 2016 11:53 am
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe says that the new constitution will be drafted only after obtaining public opinions and reiterates that it will not break the unitary status of divide the country.
“Before we submit a constitution, the Constitutional Assembly has to declare views. Before that public opinion needs to be obtained. After public opinion is obtained we will have the opportunity to formulate a constitution, to prepare a draft.”
“We are not coming here to prepare the draft but to reach an agreement on the process and create the Constitutional Assembly,” he said, delivering a statement at Temple Trees regarding the drafting of a new constitution.
He also said that for the first time ever, social media will have a role in drafting a new constitution.
“Because we have to obtain public opinion, I discussed with party leaders and presented names to the Cabinet of Ministers on December 12 to appoint a committee to obtain public opinion for constitutional amendments.”
“We have given 3 months. We thought to proceed under social media and because there are 24 individuals they can break into sub-committees and spread across the country,” he said.
The PM said that a decision was taken to obtain opinions through the social media websites because it will be the youth who will be living in the country in the future.
“The youth have various opinions,” he said, adding that for the first time in the world social media will be used to carry out amendments to the constitution.
Wickremesinghe stated that the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) has submitted several amendments to the proposal and the United National Party (UNP) has said it has no proposals while several other parties have also said they have amendments to propose.
“We are ready for amendments. This is to create a new system. We have to discuss amendments to that process in the Constitutional Assembly,” the PM said.
“We are only preparing a constitution. There is nothing else here. I don’t know what the constitution we are making is, we all have to decide.”
He stated that the media is carrying out a massive movement saying this cannot be done and that former Minister G.L. Peiris has been placed in the front of it.
“Who brings Devadatta to sing praise of Lord Buddha?” he asked.
“Some are saying that the unitary status will be lost and that Buddhism will be harmed. This needs two-thirds majority and we have not even talked about it. We have no need to break the unitary status of the country.”
He stated that everyone has to work according to the 6th amendment which is that the country cannot be divided.
The Prime Minister stated that he will make a statement regarding Buddhism after he returns from an upcoming foreign visit. “Who is carrying out this movement? Is it the people who said they will bomb the Dalada Maligawa? It is the people who built casinos around temples?”
“I am a Buddhist, Sinhalese and a Sri Lankan. I want to unite this country. We need to go forward. I am asking these small groups not to do politics.”