Monks who participated in a conference organized by the National Organizations Front yesterday (3) said they were opposed to the proposed 20th Amendment to the Constitution, which aims to abolish the Executive Presidency, as it could pose a threat to the sovereignty of the country. Submitting the 20th Amendment, as a Private Member Bill, is a plan of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP).
A few Parliamentarians of the Joint Opposition (JO), including Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa had also said that they would support the Bill conditionally. The condition they proposed to the JVP was that if the Bill gets passed, the Parliament should also be dissolved on the very same it is passed. The JVP responding to that said they were open for discussions with the JO.
The monks who participated in the conference at the Sri Sambuddhathwa Jayanthi Mandiraya demanded that the proposed 20th Amendment not be brought to the Parliament. If someone submits it, then the other parties should work to prevent the Bill getting passed, they further said.
They added that certain elements could use it to promote separatism in the country. Abolishing the Executive Presidency without abolishing the 13th Amendment to the Constitution would influence separatists who want to divide the country, they claimed. That is why the international community urges Sri Lanka to enable the 13th Amendment completely, they further noted. Therefore, this proposed Amendment could pose a threat to the national security, they added.
Furthermore, if the Government wants to take a new path, then it would be better if it can call a General Election and get a mandate from the general public, the monks noted.