Organisation of Professional Associations reflect what people think

by Staff Writer 30-03-2019 | 7:40 PM
Colombo (News 1st): At a seminar held in Colombo yesterday (March 29), a member of the Organisation of Professional Associations of Sri Lanka had something interesting in response to the members of the head table. Speaking at the seminar UNP MP Dr Jayampathy Wickramaratne said:
"As a committee consisting of all 225 members of parliament tasked with coming out with a draft, not a bill, a draft becomes a bill only after the document is approved by the cabinet of the ministers. So the task of the constitutional assembly is to come up with the draft which has the potential of getting the 2/3 majority."
Former Minister Professor G.L. Peiris had this to say,
"Within a month from today 8 out of the 9 provincial councils become non-functional, they just cease to exist. What has actually happened? We have negated the whole of the 13th amendment without legislating one word. It's an ingenious way of getting rid of a major part of the constitution."
Also speaking at the seminar was TNA MP M. A. Sumanthiran. This is what he had to say,
"Our objective was to have a developed constitution for the first time in the country even after 70 years that all the people of the country will agree with. Isn't that what a constitution is in a country? It's a social contract. It's not an act of parliament."
Meanwhile, a member of the Organisation of Professional Associations of Sri Lanka (OPA) spoke out in response to speeches made by the politicians on the constitution,
"People who have been elected serve themselves and not the people. And that is why the parliament has failed. People don't want a parliament. In fact, that is why you find it difficult to get the constitution done. So the whole system is geared. Who is coming in through various parties with no credibility come in there and say they are representing the people for the people. In such a context how do you expect, democracy or whatever you call it or the social contract to function? The same applies to your provincial council. People are happy without the provincial councils, to tell you frankly. To a certain extent, people were happy without local governments also. Because they can get their work done. Now we have to pay extra for politicians who are serving themselves. My question for you is, you are failing in your bid because you have failed to represent the views of the people. So don't say you have a contract with yourself and the people."
MPs M. A. Sumanthiran and Jayampathy Wickramaratne were responsible for destroying the intent of the 19th amendment to the constitution where it is clear that no government can function effectively. We have previously shown the manner in which the people who were appointed for the important task of drafting a constitution for the country conduct discussions. We at News 1st commend the member of the OPA for reflecting what the people think. This was reconfirmed by the former Director General of Administration, Parliament Lacille de Silva,
"It is so very unfortunate, you know the members of parliament must remember, that they are paid so much, the taxpayers have to carry the burden, unfortunately, they don't give that much of consideration for their duties and functions. They have forgotten that we have a problem with regard to international debt, and the country is going through all the hardships owing to all that. They must remember duty comes first. They should be there in parliament if they are not there in parliament, what are they doing having claimed, or having wanted so much of benefits at the cost of the poor taxpayers."