Sri Lanka's new Constitution will carry reforms in reducing presidential powers, changing the electoral system and devolving power, the country's main Tamil party has said. Addressing a gathering in the northern town of Vavuniya yesterday, Tamil National Alliance senior leader MA Sumanthiran said that the TNAs responsibility on formulating the new Constitution was nearing completion. He said the basic draft of the new Constitution could be released in two months as the steering committee comprising parliamentarians and seven sub-committees appointed to do the preliminary work on the draft Constitution had nearly finalised its work. The nature of the draft proposal has not been made public yet. Sumanthiran said the new draft will carry reforms in reducing presidential powers, changing electoral system and devolution of power. In January this year, parliament resolved to formulate a new constitution.
A 21-member steering committee of all political party representation was set up. Tamil parties and Tamil civil society groups are participating in the making a new Constitution for Sri Lanka. The Tamil minority has largely stayed away from efforts by the two Sinhala majority parties in formulating previous Constitutions. They raised black flags against the 1972 Constitution. Tamils are the official opposition in the current Parliament, boosting efforts to achieve national reconciliation. The Tamil minority envisages political reform to address their long standing political grievances in the new Constitution. The new Constitution if adopted would replace the 1978 executive president-headed Constitution.
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