‘Mahinda Chinthana’ to be basis for government’s proposal

[TamilNet, Thursday, 05 April 2007, 23:41 GMT]
Sri Lanka’s government will present its devolution proposals on May 1, the ruling SLFP’s General Secretary and Agriculture Minister, Maithripala Sirisena, was quoted by state media as saying Friday. The government’s proposals will be based on Mahinda Chinthana, the hardline Sinhala nationalist manifesto on which President Mahinda Rajapakse was elected in November 2005, the Daily News quoted him as saying. “Mahinda Chinthana accepts the devolution of power within one country and the proposals will be entirely based on Mahinda Chinthana and formulated within Mahinda Chinthana,” Mr. Sirisena said.

Mr. Sirisena told the weekly Cabinet press briefing on Thursday that the committee appointed by the President to formulate the proposals has now completed their work.

The government’s proposals will be based on maximum devolution of power within an undivided country, the paper said. It is also proposed to establish a governing system that has an executive Prime Minister accountable to Parliament.

This new system will abolish the Executive Presidency and all the proposals will be within the one country concept and Mahinda Chinthana, the paper said.

Future steps regarding the proposals will be decided after presenting them to the APRC and obtaining the opinion of all, the minister added.

President Rajapakse heads the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) which has a slender majority in Parliament, having cobbled together a mammoth alliance with other smaller parties and several defectors from the main opposition United National Party (UNP).

“At the moment the UNP and the Opposition Leader are trying to weaken the Government but we will not let them do it and it will remain only a dream. We will walk forward with the UNP group that joined with us and will take forward this county and its people.”

The Minister said the people selected President Mahinda Rajapaksa for the Presidency because they preferred his personality, image and his sincerity towards the country and its people.

In the 2005 polls President Rajapakse, contesting on a hardline Sinhala-nationalist platform, took the majority of Sinhala votes, beating his arch-rival, Ranil Wickremesinghe of the UNP.

Despite securing the Muslim and Estate Tamil votes, Wickremesinghe failed to muster the numbers to beat Rajapakse after the Tamils boycotted the polls.


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