Colombo, December 16 (newsin.asia): The re-appointed Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has said that he has initiated discussions with a number of political parties for abolishing the Executive Presidency and with the Tamil National Alliance and Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna for bringing about a political solution in which all citizens can live in harmony in a unitary state.
In a statement issued on Sunday after being re-appointed Prime Minister by President Maithripala Sirisena, Wickremesinghe also said that a fresh election could not wipe off the stigma of dissolving parliament unlawfully.
Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was appointed Prime Minister suddenly on October 26, had argued that a fresh parliamentary election would be the ideal way of solving the political issue plaguing the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government.
Quoting page 85 of the Supreme Court’s judgment on the issue, Wickremesinghe said: “It has been said by some of the added Respondent that refusing the Petitioner’s applications will enable a General Election to be held in pursuance of the Proclamation marked “P1” and, therefore, justified because it will give effect to the franchise of the people. That submission is not correct. Giving effect to the franchise of the people is not achieved by the court permitting a General Election held consequent to dissolution of Parliament which has been effected contrary to the provision of the Constitution. Such a General Election will be unlawfully held and its result will be open to question. A General election will be valid only if it is lawfully held. Thus, a General Election held consequent to dissolution of Parliament which has been done contrary to the provisions of the constitution will not be a true exercise of the franchise of the people.”
Wickremesinghe went on to say that he had said very much the same thing on h October 26 when he was sacked.
“I said that our fight was for the sake of democracy, justice, protection of the Constitution, adherence of the rule of the law and civilized and moral conduct of society. I also said that we would win this fight.
Even today I am telling the same thing. I will tell the same tomorrow too. I will abide my word. I will do what I say. I say only what I can do.”
“Most of the people of this country joined together to protect the constitution, democracy, and the rights of the people. A hundred thousand of people who adhere to their conscience came to the forefront of this fight as Sri Lankans, disregarding their race, religion and party politics. Sri Lankans living abroad too supported this move to the best of their ability. They joined this fight on behalf of their country and democracy without any personal gain. I take this opportunity to salute them all.”
“My gratitude should go to the journalists who fought for the impartiality of Media in the midst of the pressures of errant journalists and to all who toil day and night voluntary to tell the truth to the world through the Social Media.”
“In January 2015 and August 2015, we gained the mandate of the people to bring about good governance, to preserve the democracy and the Rule of the Law to eliminate frauds and corruptions, to empower Parliament after abolishing the executive presidency and to uphold the sovereignty of the people.’
‘During the past three and half years we have done a lot to the Country,” Wickremsinghe said and added: “It is due to progressive steps including the establishment of the independent Commissions that many institutions including the Judiciary could act independently.”
“The whole country is enjoying the harvest of the seeds we sawed during the past three and half years. We are happy about that. However, there are things we could not implement in this period. Some work got delayed. We could not finalize some work. But we haven’t lost our dedication determination. We are determined to rectify our shortcomings. We will take the steps to expedite the litigation regarding frauds and corruptions. We have created an environment in which different ethnic groups can live together in harmony and co-existence. We will dedicate ourselves to maintain harmony among different ethnic groups.’
“Now, we should go forward. We have initiated the discussions with a number of political parties in respect to abolishing the executive Presidency. And also, we will have discussions with the Tamil National Alliance and Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna to bring about a political solution in which all citizens can live in harmony in a unitary state.”
Alluding to Mahinda Rajapaksa’s alleged collusion with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in order to win the Presidential Election in 2005,he said that he had not done that kind of thing.
“Our intention is to form a broad alliance to protect democracy. It is only through democratic environment in which the voice of the people is considered and the rights of the people are protected. We can bring about a dignified society where future generation can do without fear,” Wickremesinghe said.
“Our effort is to create a strong democratic environment that any external force cannot suppress. My heartfelt wish is to create a such a Sri Lanka. You all wish for such a country. It is the hope of all Sri Lankans.”
(The photo at the top shows Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe with President Maithripala Sirisena)