Abolish Executive Presidency: Sri Lanka Opposition Leader Says in Fiery Speech
The country's President Rajapaksa and the entire government must resign, he said.
The Quint DAILY
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In a fiery speech in Parliament on Tuesday, 5 April, Sri Lanka Opposition leader Sajith Premadasa called for the abolition of the all-powerful executive presidency within a week.
He also stressed that Parliament must be strengthened, while ensuring that a similar dictatorial premiership did not return. The country's President Rajapaksa and the entire government must resign, he demanded, as per Economynext.
"The time has come to change the executive presidency. Let us use this opportunity," he said, as the MPs of his party applauded.
He said that instead of revoking the 20th amendment, the entire executive presidency must be abolished.
The previous 19th amendment was passed under President Maithripala Siresena, when the Yahapalana government was in power. The 20th amendment restored the powers taken away by the 19th amendment from the presidency. On Tuesday, Siresena had called for the reinstatement of the 19th amendment with further amends.
Meanwhile, Ali Sabry, who replaced President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's brother Basil Rajapaksa as Sri Lanka's finance minister on Monday, 4 April, resigned on Tuesday, after just one day in the Cabinet.
"After much reflection and deliberation, and taking into consideration the current situation, I'm now of the view for your Excellency to make suitable interim arrangement to navigate this unprecedented crisis... including the appointment of a new finance minster," he wrote to President Rajapaksa in a letter.
Sri Lanka is witnessing an economic meltdown of a scale unseen since the country's financial crisis of 1948, right after it secured independence from the British Empire.
As per the data released on Friday, 1 April, inflation in Colombo hit 18.7 percent in March, whereas food inflation touched a record 30.1 percent.
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