Business Standard

Protest in Sri Lanka for key constitutional reforms

IANS  |  Colombo 

A prominent Buddhist monk led a protest march in the Sri Lankan capital on Monday, demanding that key constitutional reforms be adopted by the Island nation's parliament.

Over 2,000 people took part in the march here and walked up to the parliament building where lawmakers were meeting to debate the 19th amendment to the constitution, Xinhua reported.

The Venerable Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero, who was instrumental in obtaining the support of several political parties for President Maithripala Sirisena when he contested the January 8 Presidential Elections, said the people who voted for him wanted the reforms to be implemented.

One of the key proposals of the 19th amendment is to reduce the powers of the president and transfer them to parliament.

"We need to ensure that the executive presidential system is removed through the 19th amendment," the monk said.

Sri Lankan parliamentarians began two days of debate on the 19th amendment, amid several disagreements between the government and the opposition on some clauses of the proposals.

However, Thero said that he eventually received an assurance from the president that both -- the opposition and the government -- have reached an agreement and will ensure that the reforms proposals were made into law.

The Sri Lankan government needs a two-thirds majority in parliament for the proposals to be implemented. A vote on the proposal will be taken on Tuesday.

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First Published: Mon, April 27 2015. 22:06 IST