Thursday, 07 March 2019 08:37

Constitutional Reform Explained at National Symposium

A National Symposium attended by more than 250 members of District Inter Religious Committees (DIRCs), NGOs and civil society and trade union representatives was conducted in Colombo to discuss current political issues.

It was supported by the Civil Society and Trade Unions Collective under NPC’s project, Consolidating Ongoing Multi-level Partnership Actions for Conflict Transformation (COMPACT).

Some political parties and academics have been speaking negatively about the draft interim report on Constitutional reform produced by the Steering Committee in the Constitutional Assembly. Positive views on the report were not portrayed in the media, so it was decided to hold a symposium to discuss the various aspects of the interim report.

The main speakers were Parliamentarians Dr Jayampathy Wickramaratne and M.A. Sumanthiran. Academics, civil society leaders and trade union leaders also presented their views on the document. 

Dr Wickramaratne explained that the report was not a draft Constitution but carried a set of proposals under the different components to be included in the Constitution.

He pointed out that some people were only focusing on certain words without looking at the content of the report, which emphasised that Sri Lanka was to be a unitary state. 

Other speakers at the symposium were Ven. Dambara Amila Thero, Senior Lecturer at the University of Jayawardhanapura Professor Sarath Wijesuriya, NPC Chairman Dr. Joe William, lawyer J.C. Weliamuna and National Leader of Trade Unions Collective Saman Ratnapriya.