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Jayampathy Wickremaratne dismisses allegations of dividing the country through new constitution

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United National Party Parliamentarian Constitutional Expert Dr. Jayampathy Wickremaratne has dismissed the allegation that there was an attempt to clandestinely introduce federalism in the new constitution to divide the country. Leftists always fought against dividing the country.

He was addressing the House during the discussion of the Steering Committee on the draft of the new constitution. During the address, he responded to the charge made by Joint Opposition Leader Dinesh Gunawardena that there was a move to introduce federalism through the enactment of the new constitution.

He categorically told the House: "There was an allegation that we are attempting to bring in federalism through the adoption of the new constitution. All the leftists in the North were either killed or forcefully removed by the LTTE. Some left the country. The Steering Committee interim report clearly states that Sri Lanka will be a unitary state that cannot be divided. Even additional safeguards have been proposed in that regard.

I, personally, proposed to include a provision that the Centre must have the power to dissolve the provincial councils or take over their powers if any PC acts against the unity, territorial integrity and sovereignty of the country.

The expert panel was appointed on the basis of nominations by various parties and they hold independent opinions. They only assist the Steering Committee in drafting the Constitution. If the experts are attacked in this manner, no expert will come forward to assist in any work related to Parliament in the future."

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