Sri Lanka Political Crisis triggered by an economic Collapse – By Dr harold Gunatillake

Sri Lanka Political Crisis triggered by an economic Collapse – By Dr harold Gunatillake

Dr Harold Gunatillake

*Sri Lanka’s Newly Proposed Constitutional Reforms
*Powers of the president will be clipped, and powers of the parliament strengthened
*Protesting youth to be invited to be part of governance under political reforms.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said that under proposed constitutional reforms, the president’s powers would be clipped and those of parliament strengthened.

In a televised statement, he said that governance would be broad-based through parliamentary committees where politicians, youth, and experts work together.

“The youth are calling for a change in the existing system. They also want to know the current issues. Therefore, I propose to appoint four youth representatives to each of these 15 committees,” Wickremesinghe said.

“The methodology used to choose these individuals can be decided by the youth organisations themselves,” he said.

So far, there have been no immediate comments from the demonstrating youth groups.

They’re demanding the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, holding him and his family responsible for the country’s worst economic crisis.

It has already defaulted on its foreign loans and is battling acute shortages of essential goods like cooking gas, fuel and medicines.

People have been forced to wait for hours in long lines to buy goods, and many still go empty-handed.

The country’s foreign currency reserves have dwindled to just enough to purchase two weeks of needed imports.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said his government was working on amending the constitution to make the president and cabinet accountable to parliament.

“According to the new system we have proposed, the president will be held accountable to the parliament. In a televised address to the nation, the cabinet of ministers is also accountable to parliament,” Wickremesinghe said

Duminda Silva was arrested.
Former Parliamentarian Duminda Silva, the Chairman of the National Housing Development Authority, was arrested by the CID.

The arrest was made at the Sri Jayawardenapura Hospital. A senior official of the CID stated that they would take up the matter with the Supreme Court.
The President has pardoned Duminda Silva following the death sentence imposed for killing Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra.

Hirunika Premachandra, the daughter of Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra Maha, her mother, and a former Commissioner of the Human Rights Commission Attorney-at-Law Ghazali Hussain, have filed a fundamental rights case in the Supreme Court challenging the president’s pardon.

Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) has decided to support PM Ranil Wickremasinghe.

The party leader, MP Douglas Devawanda, has taken this decision after discussing it with President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.
Modi decides to give fertiliser to Sri Lanka.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has agreed to expedite the provision of fertiliser for the Yala season, President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said.

The fertiliser is being supplied with Indian loan assistance and is scheduled to be distributed within 20 days of receiving it in Sri Lanka.

The President made this observation at a discussion held at the President’s House, This news was reported in Newswave. lk

Legal background for a President’s removal

Some are questioning whether the vacancy of the executive presidency in Sri Lanka can be achieved by widespread opposition.

Lawyers point out that the Constitution has constitutionally accepted the people’s sovereignty as the highest law of the land.

Accordingly, no matter who acts in any way, the vacancy of the office of President should take place only under the provisions of the Constitution.

Accordingly, according to the latest amendment to the Constitution of Sri Lanka, the 20th Amendment to the Constitution, there are several instances where the office of the President
becomes vacant.

That is when the President dies, when the President resigns with a letter signed by the Speaker, when the President ceases to be a citizen of Sri Lanka, when the person elected by the President fails to begin his term of office within one month when the President was removed from the presidency, and if the Supreme Court challenged the futility of electing the president.

Suppose the office of the President becomes vacant before the expiration of the term of office of the President. In that case, one Member of Parliament is eligible to be elected to the office of President. He is said to be the successor president. This President, who Parliament elects, can hold office only for the remaining term of office.

According to Article 40 (1) b of the Constitution, the election of the President shall take place as soon as possible after the date of the vacancy. It is not possible to wait a month for that. Also, the president must be legally elected by secret ballot. However, after the emptiness, the Prime Minister will be responsible for the presidency during the interim period before the successor President is sworn in.

He should appoint another Minister in the Cabinet to act as the Prime Minister. According to the 20 of the Constitution, this responsibility is not vested in the Prime Minister, who has held office twice. Article 40 provides that the Speaker shall exercise the office, powers, and functions until the President swears in the successor.

If an impeachment motion is brought against the President, it will take some time. It consists of a lengthy process of proposing, passing a resolution, signing not less than two-thirds of the members of Parliament, notifying, hearing the case in the Supreme Court, and returning to Parliament. During his time, such an impeachment motion was brought against President R. Premadasa, but it took a long.

Accordingly, the presidency can be vacated only if the President resigns at will (Article 38 (1) a) or through a no-confidence motion in Parliament (Article 40 (1)). This news comes from Newswave. Ik

Lankan Prez And PM Open Avenues For Youth Involvement In Decision Making

President Gotabaya did not quit office as demanded by the demonstrating youth, but all other members of the Rajapaksa clan went out of office. His elder brother and Prime Minister, Mahinda Rajapaksa, was replaced by Ranil Wickremesinghe from the opposition United National Party (UNP).

But he, even he stubbornly stuck to his office, saying that he still had the people’s mandate that he received in the 2019 Presidential election. Gotabaya Rajapaksa realised that he could not entirely ignore the anger of the youth. Colombo, June 1: As a result of the 50-day“Gota Go Home” campaign demanding the ouster of Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the exit of the Rajapaksa clan from the government, the President as well as his new Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, have woken up to the need to consult and formally take on board, representatives of the youth in governmental decision-making.

Therefore, he is now trying to appease them by involving them in decision-making. On Tuesday, the President met young professionals and a section of the youth who were part of the agitation in front of his office day in and day out for more than a month. In a press release after the meeting, his office said that he got“concise proposals” from the youngsters to solve current political and economic problems. “The Confederation of Professionals for a National Policy (CPNP), a group of professionals and youth involved in the ‘Aragalaya’ (Sinhalese term for ‘struggle’) presented to the President a“concise set of proposals outlining actions that should be taken to resolve the current
political and economic situation.”

“The discussions focused on short, medium and long-term measures that should be taken to address the current political, social and economic crisis. The adoption of a new ‘peoplefriendly’ Constitution was also discussed.”

 Subsequently, the release said it followed to hold the following discussion within the next few days.

President Gotabaya said that several groups representing experts in various fields are ready to build the country and added that he is prepared to provide the necessary powers and resources to implement the positive plans of these groups.

Taxes on several imported foods to go up from today

Special excise duty on several items has been increased from today. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has announced that the new tax rate will be effective six months.

Accordingly, the Special Commodity Levy on imported yoghurt, butter, cheese, grapes, apples, oranges, and many other imported food items has been significantly increased. Yoghurt Rs 2000: Oranges Rs 600: Apples Rs 600.

Liquor prices go up

Liquor companies have decided to increase the prices of all liquor. The companies say the decision was made because of rising VAT and production costs

Litro gas distribution plan started.
Litro has released the island-wide distribution plan of domestic LP gas cylinders from the 1st of June.

Sri Lanka Seeking $3 Billion Under IMF Extended Fund Facility

Comprehensive package Sri Lanka is in talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to borrow at least $3 billion via the lender’s extended fund facility (EFF), sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. ACCORDING TO THE IMF’S WEBSITE, an EFF programme, which would be the 17th IMF plan for the nation, requires countries to make structural economic reforms “to correct deep-rooted weaknesses,” according to the IMF’s website. These programmes typically last three years with a grace period of 4-1/2 years to start paying back the loan once the plan is

LAST WEEK, the IMF said it was in talks with Sri Lanka for a “comprehensive” reform package but didn’t specify what type of programme was being negotiated.

19A to be re-enacted as 21A

Party leaders met with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to discuss the draft of the 21st Amendment on Friday (27). The party leaders agreed that re-enactment of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution in the form of the 21st Amendment would be the first step and abolition of Executive Presidency would be the next, Prime Minister’s Media Division announced on Friday (27).

The party leaders will further discuss whether the President can retain the defence portfolio. Hope this video talk on the current situation in Sri Lanka was useful

Stay safe until we meet again. Goodbye for now


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