By Rathindra Kuruwita
Giving full powers of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution to provincial councils controlled by henchmen appointed as Governors by President Ranil Wickremesinghe would have disastrous consequences for the country, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Sri Lanka (CPSL) Weerasumana Weerasinghe said.
He said that the government was creating new issues on a weekly basis to distract people from the real problems they face.
“On Wednesday, the President arrived in Parliament and spoke about the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. He repeated things what he had told political parties in late July during an All Party Conference (APC). During the APC, opposition political parties said that the government must reveal its stance on 13A first and to hold provincial council elections first. If not, a bunch of henchmen appointed by President Wickremesinghe as Governors will enjoy those powers. This is extremely dangerous because the executive President also controls Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) MPs in Parliament. He could carry out the most disastrous policies as he pleases,” he said.
The MP said that President Wickremesinghe had told Parliament that he was contemplating on appointing an advisory committee to instruct Governors of provinces on running them until elections are held. This only led to further chaos in Parliament, he said.
Weerasinghe said that Parliament elected in 2020 no longer reflected the popular will.
“Even I was voted in as a part of the coalition led by the Rajapaksas. However, everyone knows that the agreement the SLPP had with its constituents came to an end. We fought for implementing what was promised to the people in 2019 and 2020. We lost ministerial portfolios for telling the truth. It is obvious that we need a new mandate,” he said.
The SLPP, which still holds the majority in Parliament, had an opportunity to create an all-party government in early 2022, but instead of creating national unity, the SLPP brought in Wickremesinge as president to protect from angry people, the CPSL MP said.
“A year has passed, and the real problems are remain unsolved. The government has created a fake stability by manipulating monetary policy. However, the real economy is in a mess. Agriculture and manufacturing sectors are on the verge of collapse. Thousands of hectares of paddy land have been destroyed because the government can’t decide whether to release water for agriculture,” he said.