Chief Opposition Whip Lakshman Kiriella has demanded to know how come those who supported the 19th Amendment are now trying to scrap it. His reference is obviously to his political opponents in the SLPP government bent on getting rid of the 19th Amendment. The answer to his question is that they are doing so because Sri Lankan politicians act out of expediency rather than principle.
The 17th Amendment, which was a progressive legislation regardless of its flaws was passed without a division in 2001. Mahinda Rajapaksa was a minister in the Chandrika Kumaratunga government at that time. So were most SLPP and SLFP seniors who are currently savouring power. But Rajapaksa introduced the 18th Amendment after securing a second term as the Executive President and effectively neutralised the 17th Amendment in the process. Many others who had voted for the 17th Amendment unflinchingly helped him secure the passage of the 18th Amendment. In so doing, all of them made a mockery of their commitment to good governance.