Experts’ draft on new Lankan constitution submitted to Steering Committee

Experts’ draft on new Lankan constitution submitted to Steering Committee

Colombo, August 9 (Doordarshan): The first legal draft of a new constitution for Sri Lanka prepared by an Experts’ Committee, was presented to the Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly here on Wednesday, Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne, told the Indian news channel Doordarshan.

The Experts’ Committee comprised ten members,including Dr.Wickramaratne, who is both a constitutional expert and a member of parliament.

The Steering Committee consists of the heads of all political parties represented in the present parliament and is headed by  Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Dr.Wickramaratne  said that the legal draft was based on the reports of the sub-committees on various subjects related to the constitution.

He further said that the legal draft was not signed as it was only a basic document for discussion. But it included the remarks of three members on some subjects.

He denied the allegation that some of the experts had not signed the legal draft. No signatures were appended to the draft, he clarified.

Dr.Wickramaatne further said that, as per the legal draft, the new constitution is to be a Unitary one with maximum devolution of powers to the provinces.

The Tamil minority in Sri Lanka has been demanding a federal constitution since 1948. However, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has now reportedly agreed to maximum devolution of powers to the provinces within a unitary system in order to arrive at a consensus with the majority Sinhalese community.