"Executive Presidency must be removed" - Ravaya

[TamilNet, Monday, 17 November 2003, 11:58 GMT]
Influential Sinhala political weekly, Ravaya, in an editorial argued for the abolition of executive presidency or at the minimum clipping the powers of the Presidency. It said that neither the President Ms. Kumaratunge nor the Prime Minister Wickremesinghe are inclined to do so because of their self-interest.

The paper said, "Dr. Colvin R. De Silva has termed J. R. Jayawardene,s 1978 constitution as a presidential dictatorship covered with the cloth of democracy... Dr. N. M. Perera was the first to suggest to remove the executive presidency. Later Lalith Athulathmudali and Gamini Dissanayake endorsed it. JVP was of the same view.

"Chandrika came to power in 1994, taking an oath in front of people to do away with executive presidency. However, she did not take any action to do away with executive powers, instead she drank the tasty juice of it greedily with the assistance of all forces that once stood against the executive presidency.

"Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe also want the executive presidency to exist. His greedy aspiration may be the reason for the present situation in the country.

The editorial demanded that both parties should come to an agreement to settle this issue. Coexistence should be established between the President and the Government so that one cannot take unilateral decisions.

The paper warned that "Democracy will be at stake if the presidential system and the parliamentary system cannot pull on together."

In another article analysing the current political situation the paper said the Ms.Kumaratunge should give back the three Ministries to Sri Lanka's Prime Minister and discuss forming a National Government. "If not, the only alternative is to go for a general election. The budget could not be presented. A sudden election may end in a blood bath. Will the society allow such a situation is the question?" the paper asked.


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