Kumaratunge acted contrary to constitution - Peiris
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 13 May 2003, 13:55 GMT]
Sri Lanka’s United National Front government Tuesday said the taking over of the
Development Lottery Board that comes under a minister in the UNF cabinet by
President Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunge is contrary to the constitution of Sri Lanka.
"President Kumaratunge should have consulted the Prime Minister as both leaders represent two different political parties. The 1978 constitution requires so," said Constitutional Affairs Minister and UNF cabinet spokesman, Professor G.L.Peiris, addressing a special press briefing Tuesday, sources said.
"Our government is prepared to resolve the present constitutional crisis
through discussion. Prime Minister Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe has already
indicated this to the President. The President should initiate the
discussion in this regard. The country could not move forward without
consultation between the heads of the executive and legislature who are
from two different political parties," said Peiris.
"The UNF government has obtained a clear mandate at the last general
election. If the President alters the subjects of ministers the mandate
given by the people to the government will be of no use. The party that has
obtained the mandate should be allowed to govern the country without any
interference; if not, democracy will be destroyed," Peiris added.
The present constitutional crisis would negatively affect the forthcoming
Sri Lanka Aid Donor Conference, scheduled to be held in Japan during
the first week of June, Peiris said.
When a journalist asked about moves by the President to dissolve the parliament if the present crisis is not resolved amicably, Peiris said that the UNF is prepared to face an early general election and it has the ability to obtain a bigger majority if a general election is held.