Debate on 18th amendment begins in Sri Lankan Parliament

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 08 September 2010, 07:53 GMT]
Sri Lanka’s seventy nine year-old Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratna tabled the 18th Amendment to the constitution in Parliament Wednesday morning. According to the 18th amendment, the restriction of the two term executive presidency system is to be removed allowing the incumbent president to contest any number of times.

The amendment allows the introduction of a five-member parliamentary advisory council replacing the existing Constitutional Council appointed under the seventeenth Sri Lankan constitution.

Mr. Jayaratna said that at least sixteen parliamentarians of the main opposition United National Party were expected to vote in favour of the amendment when it was put to vote at the conclusion of the debate around 7:00 p.m.

Except those UNP parliamentarians who are expected to vote with the government, other UNP parliamentarians have been boycotting the debate.

Meanwhile, supporters of the government and opposition have been conducting pro and anti demonstrations in several parts of Colombo city, causing heavy traffic jam.


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