Package to parliament, despite Tamil protests

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 21 October 1997, 23:59 GMT]
The chairman of Sri Lanka's Parliamentary Select Committee on constitutional reform , Prof. G.L Pieris deputy finance minister and Minister for Constitutional affairs will submit the committee's report to Parliament on Friday October 24.

The report is the final form of the government proposal as approved by the cabinet and will include the reservations expressed by the other parties of the PSC as 'riders'.

The UNP's position annexed to the report was released by them earlier this day.

The TULF and the SLMC had only one reservation which was presented on behalf of both the parties by Mr. Rauf Hakkeem MP, the general secretary of the SLMC. The only exception taken by the two parties to the government proposal was the referendum in the east.

The EPDP submitted a 19 page report outlining its objections to the PA proposals and stated that the government's report should not go before Parliament until the party's suggestion and objections are integrated into it rather than being annexed to it as a rider.

The PLOTE did not present any document but stated that despite Prof. G.L Pieris's assertion that the views of all those who made submissions to the PSC have been taken into account in the government's final report, the proposal put before the PSC by the five Tamil party alliance (PLOTE, EPDP, TELO, EROS and EPRLF) has been completely ignored.

The JVP's Nihal Galappathy MP simply stated that the government's report is a good proposal for the Eelamists.

Mr. Ravi Karunanayaka of the DUNLF, though a member of the PA submitted a three page rider outlining those aspects of the government proposal to which his party is opposed. He also suggested that the question of placing the government's report before Parliament should be decided by a vote in the PSC.

This was shot down by the UNP's Mr. A.C.S Hameed and Mr. Ronnie de Mel. The PSC, according to its chairman Prof . G.L Pieris, has had 77 sittings and has heard submissions by 18 political parties, 83 organisations and 378 individuals since it came into being in 1995.

Many members of the Select Committee were of the opinion this evening that it had wound up business for all practical purposes with this meeting.

 

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