President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday blamed the ineffectiveness of the current government on the 19th Amendment to the Constitution which took away a significant amount of Executive power from the Presidency.
Speaking at the 40th-anniversary celebrations of the National Housing Development Authority in Colombo yesterday (23) the President said that the 19th Amendment prevented the government from achieving its objectives.
“Some people say that the Prime Minister and I are pulling in different directions,” Sirisena said with Ranil Wickremesinghe seated in the audience. “It is the 19th Amendment that caused a split in the leadership.”
The government has, therefore, become unstable, he said.
“This situation caused great losses to the nation and the government. The last four years could have been more successful if we did not have the 19th Amendment,” he added.
Sirisena also said that the 18th Amendment passed by the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime was “dictatorial.”
The 18th Amendment removed term-limits for Presidents.
Sirisena said that both these Amendments have to be repealed.
“The 18th means dictatorship and the 19th means instability,” he
Sirisena failed to say that the 19th Amendment has made many government institutions more independent.
It has allowed the Constitutional Council to make impartial appointments and over-all strengthened the courts.
The President praised Housing Minister Sajith Premadasa for his work in providing housing and also extolled the virtues of the Minister’s father President Ranasinghe Premadasa who was assassinated.