Govt. not to re-table last year's draft Constitution -President

[TamilNet, Friday, 20 July 2001, 22:53 GMT]
President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge said Friday that the draft Constitution tabled in parliament in August last year and later withdrawn will not be considered in preparing the new constitution. The President told a group of special representatives of the Joint Trade Unions' Federation that the new constitution will be presented within a short period, after seeking opinions of the clergy -including the Mahasangha, minorities, minor political parties and intellectuals.

Minister Mangala Samaraweera, addressing another meeting in Colombo this morning, said: "the new constitution will be presented to the people before November this year."

The President told trade union leaders, who met her at the President's House, "the idea to bring the new constitution is not due to the present political crisis created with the tabling of a no-confidence motion against my government. Since 1994 I have been trying to introduce a new constitution. My government has now been compelled to bring a new constitution as the opposition failed to extend its support for this purpose."

Commenting on the urgency of a new constitution, the President said, "the country needs a new constitution to pave the way for economic development and to end the war, thus ensuring permanent peace in the country."

 

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