Colombo, May 16 (Agency)
Sri Lanka’s new Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said the 21st amendment to the constitution to curtail the president’s powers will be discussed with the Attorney General’s department on Monday for sending it to the cabinet for approval. The 21st amendment to the constitution is likely to repeal 20A, which gives President Gotabaya Rajapaksa unlimited powers after the 19th amendment is repealed. In the 19th Amendment, Parliament was given more powers than the President.
The first cabinet meeting of the new government was held on Sunday, in which special attention was given to the import of fuel. Wickremesinghe tweeted, 21st Amendment: This will be taken up in discussion with the Attorney General’s department on Monday and then sent to the Cabinet for approval.
Significantly, the powerful Rajapaksa family tightened their grip on power after a massive victory in the general elections in August 2020. He amended the constitution to restore the powers of the President and appoint close family members to important posts. Prime Minister Wickremesinghe on Sunday discussed the current economic crisis in the country with representatives of the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB). He said both the financial institutions have pledged to help them procure essential items like medicines, food and fertilisers. He also outlined the plan to meet the fuel requirements.