Academics support 18th Amendment
Posted on September 7th, 2010

Nadira Gunatilleke- Daily News

All top scholars in State universities extended their strong support for the 18th Amendment yesterday. They pointed out that the 18th Amendment was totally legal and within the framework of the present Constitution.

It can only accelerate the country’s development process while ensuring the people’s right to appoint a President according to their wish.

Addressing a press briefing held at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute, yesterday the University Grants Commission Chairman Prof. Gamini Samaranayake said that US kept the number of terms of the President open, till the country gained economic stability and became the world’s super power.

“Only then did the US go for a limitation of the number of terms of a President. As citizens who love their motherland, the scholars wish to achieve economic stability through political stability. Therefore we extend our fullest support towards the 18th Amendment.

“Sri Lanka successfully defeated the dictatorships in the North (LTTE) and South (JVP) in the past. Therefore there will be no chance for a dictatorship.”

Colombo University Vice Chancellor Prof. Kshanika Hirimburegama said that the people should have the right to appoint a leader who loves his motherland.

People should have the right to re-appoint such a leader. When there is a chance to re-elect a President he or she acts with responsibility and always think that he or she is accountable for what he or she does. But when there is a restriction, there is no need to be responsible or accountable. It is the people of Sri Lanka who vote and appoint a President. Therefore the Amendment protects and strengthens their right.

Open University Vice Chancellor Prof Upali Vidanapathirana said that while India recorded a growth rate of eight percent China recorded a growth rate of nine percent.

Sri Lanka was able to record a growth rate of six percent in a middle of terrorist war. Now the country needs an accelerated economic growth and it can be achieved only through political stability.

There is no possibility of retaining the governing power within one political party or members of one family because it is the people of Sri Lanka who vote to appoint a president and a president needs over 50 percent of the votes to become the President of Sri Lanka.

Senior Lecturer, Colombo University, Attorney-at-law Dr Prathibha Mahanama said that the 18th Amendment is nothing new. It is required because there were shortcomings in all the other previous Amendments.

It only gives the chance to a President to compete for a third term and not to extend his term. It only allows him or her to hand over nominations and it is the people who decide whether to vote for him or not. According to the Amendment it is compulsory for a President to attend Parliament once in three months. All independent commissions will be set up under the Amendment. Therefore it extends people’s sovereignty.

According to the Constitution, there is no need to go for a referendum and the only requirement is obtaining two thirds majority in Parliament to pass the 18th Amendment.

This is very clearly stated in the Constitution. Therefore demanding a referendum is illegal and undemocratic. Seeking a Supreme Court verdict over the 18th Amendment shows how democratic the President’s is, he added. SLFI Chairman Dr Ranjith Bandara said that, for the first time in Sri Lankan history an election manifesto was presented in the format of a policy document and it was the Mahinda Chinthana. It was the economic policy for the country and Mahinda Chinthana “”…” Vision for the Future is the economic plan for the future.

Sri Lanka tried to reduce inflation, unemployment, etc to one digit during the past 40 years but failed due to lack of political stability. Around 47,000 graduates were recruited into the Public Service in 2005. The 18th Amendment is a must for the country’s economic development. That is why the entire private sector supports it.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.



Copyright © 2020 All Rights Reserved. Powered by Wordpress