No room to divide the country – Ranil

Updated: 00:00 GMT, Jan 1, 1970 | Published: 12:15 GMT, Jan 18, 2016 |

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday said that the government would leave no room to divide the country.

He was making a special statement on the formulation of a new Constitution at Temple Trees on Sunday (Jan 17).

The Prime minister reiterated that the drafting of a new Constitution would be done in a transparent manner while incorporating the views of all 225 MPs, political parties and the public.

He said the new Constitution would not only be presented for the approval by a two thirds majority in Parliament, but also the entire country at a referendum.

“We have to do everything complying with the 6th Amendment to the Constitution. We cannot divide the country. We always act keeping this in mind. The people have given a mandate to the President and me to formulate a new Constitution. We cannot act outside this mandate. Under the 18th Amendment Sri Lanka became an autocratic state. Now that dictatorship is no more,” he said.

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said that they have decided to seek the opinion of the people on the new Constitution via social media too.

“The President proposed to appoint a Cabinet Sub-committee in this regard. Accordingly I was appointed its chairman, while Ministers Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, D.M. Swaminathan, Nimal Siripala de Silva, Susil Premajayantha, Lakshman Kiriella, Malik Samarawickrema, Rauff Hakeem, Rishad Bathiudeen, Patali Champika Ranawaka and Mano Ganeshan were appointed its members. Former Justice Ministry Secretary Kamalini de Silva was appointed its Secretary while Prof Suri Rathnapala was appointed a Consultant,” he added.