Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe says the United National Party remains committed to abolish the executive presidency. Making a special statement at Temple Trees today, he said this stand of the party was intimated to civil society representatives at a meeting last week. These representatives requested the Prime Minister to obtain cabinet approval for the 20th amendment to the constitution. They also handed over to him a draft in that regard during their meeting on September 16th.
Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said he pointed out to them that the passage of the 20th amendment was not possible without the support of other parties. Therefore, he has asked civil society representatives to let him know the views of other parties regarding the matter. He also said that he pointed out to parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran that the support of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna was required for the passage of the proposed amendment.
The Prime Minister also said that he received a telephone call from President Maithripala Sirisena on September 19th with regard to the convening of a cabinet meeting to discuss this matter. He said that he informed the President about the request by the civil society representatives. Prime Minister Wickremesinghe added that since MP Sumanthiran had informed him about the President’s stand point, he told the President that it would be appropriate to discuss it at a cabinet meeting.
The special statement by the Prime Minister will be broadcast on the Sinhala National Service of the SLBC following the 6.00 pm news broadcast.