Govt more keen on overcoming economic crisis than 22A - Shantha Bandara | Sunday Observer

Govt more keen on overcoming economic crisis than 22A - Shantha Bandara

23 October, 2022

State Minister of Mass Media Shantha Bandara yesterday said that neither the Government nor the ruling party, the Sri Lanka Podu Jana Peramuna (SLPP) is divided because the 22nd Amendment was passed in Parliament. “The Government is interested in addressing the humanitarian emergencies, such as a possible food crisis, and accomplishing economic recovery. It cannot afford to get carried away with the plans of a few politically motivated elements trying to create political unrest in the country capitalising on every situation,” said Bandara.

The passing of the 22nd Amendment makes other democratic nations look at Sri Lanka more positively, he said.

“The people in this country are confident after passing the 22nd Amendment that there will not be any dictatorial Presidents to wield a heavy hand over them or the system as was earlier,” he said.

The State Minister said this has paved the way to set up Independent Commissions, such as the Election Commission, Judicial Service Commission, National Police Commission, Public Service Commission, Audit Service Commission, Human Rights Commission, Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption, Finance Commission, Delimitation Commission and the National Procurement Commission.

When asked if Government members were happy about the 22nd Amendment’s clauses, which disqualifies the representation of dual citizens in Parliament, he said this clause was something everyone went to town with, giving too much political significance. “But the truth is except in Australia, in all other countries, dual citizens are allowed to function as Members of Parliament,” he said. He also said that many were not present in Parliament when the vote was taken for the 22nd Amendment because they were abroad at the time of the vote. When asked why when all those who were present in Parliament voted for it, SLPP MP Sarath Weerasekera voted against it, State Minister Bandara said MP Weerasekera had clearly said that he did not want any powers of the Executive Presidency scrapped.

As far as the Government is concerned, it has concentrated its efforts to rise from the current economic crisis to inclusive economic growth, he added.