Colombo, June 20
Sri Lankan Cabinet on Monday passed the 21st Amendment to the Constitution aimed at empowering Parliament over the executive president. It will now be tabled in Parliament, a top minister said. The amendment is expected to annul the 20A Amendment to the Constitution, which gives unfettered powers to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa after abolishing the 19th Amendment that will strengthen Parliament.
“The amendment was tabled and passed in Cabinet today and will be tabled in Parliament soon. Like to thank @RW_UNP and @wijerajapakshe for pushing it through,” Minister of Tourism and Lands Harin Fernando tweeted.
Gotabaya thanks Xi for ‘help’
- President Gotabaya Rajapaksa expressed his appreciation for China for its ‘continued friendship’, as he thanked Xi Jinping for wishing him on his birthday. Lanka reportedly owes $1.5-2 billion debt payments to China.
IMF team holds talks with Pm
- PM Ranil Wickremesinghe held talks with a visiting IMF team on a plan that could be supported by an arrangement for the government, which is seeking to find $6 billion to keep country afloat for next six months.
The 21A aims, among other reforms, at barring dual citizens from contesting elections to hold public office.
Meanwhile, a group of protesters demanding the resignation of President Rajapksa over the economic crisis blocked all entrances to the presidential secretariat here, forcing the police to arrest 21 persons, including a Buddhist monk. Lanka is experiencing extreme fuel shortages, soaring food prices and a lack of medicines.