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  • EU delegation calls on Sampanthan

    EU delegation calls on Sampanthan

    A special delegation of the European Union called on Tamil National Alliance Leader Parliamentarian R.Sampanthan and held discussion. Sampanthan briefed them of the problems of the Tamils and the need to enact a new constitution for Tamils to live as equals in the island.
  • Alice Wells at St.Anthony’s shrine in Kochchikade

    Alice Wells at St.Anthony’s shrine in Kochchikade

    The US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Alice Wells visited the St. Anthony's Shrine in Kochchikade, one of the churches bombed by Muslim extremists on April 21, and laid a wreath in remembrance of the victims.
  • Rajitha hands over 20 endoscopy machines to hospitals

    Rajitha hands over 20 endoscopy machines to hospitals

    Health Minister Dr.Rajitha Senaratne handed over 20 endoscopy machines to authorities to be distributed to various hospitals in the island at a ceremony held recently. Health Services Director Dr.Anil Jayasinghe and Health Ministry Secretary Wasantha Perera were also present.
  • Ranil graces opening of Green Valley Apartment Complex in Kaduwela

    Ranil graces opening of Green Valley Apartment Complex in Kaduwela

    Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe graced the ceremony held to mark the opening of the Green Valley apartment complex in Ranala Kaduwala on Sunday as its Chief Guest.
  • Our next president will be one selected democratically by the UNP: Mangala

    Our next president will be one selected democratically by the UNP: Mangala

    Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera has observed that the next president of Sri Lanka will be the person democratically selected by the United National Party and its allies to stand on a platform of democracy, safeguarding the judiciary, public service and other independent institutions and putting ordinary citizens before any family.
  • Rajapaksa’s with new party, new slogans are the same - a Kobeyya will never be an eagle: Ranil

    Rajapaksa’s with new party, new slogans are the same - a Kobeyya will never be an eagle: Ranil

    Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Sunday has charged that even though the Rajapaksa family was attempting to return to power with a new party, new candidate, and new slogans, voters must understand that “a kobeyya (dove), whether it is fried or cooked in milk, is still a kobeyya, and will never be a rajaaliya (eagle).”
  • I will make Sri Lanka a peaceful, secure, safe country: Gotabaya in his maiden address

    I will make Sri Lanka a peaceful, secure, safe country: Gotabaya in his maiden address

    Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna Presidential candidate has observed that if entrusted with the stewardship of this country by the people, his first task would be to ensure complete safety and security throughout the nation. He had complete confidence that we would once again be able to make Sri Lanka one of the most peaceful, secure, and safe countries in the world. He would accept responsibility for people’s safety, and the safety of children and loved ones.
  • Gotabaya is SLPP’s Presidential candidate: Mahinda announces

    Gotabaya is SLPP’s Presidential candidate: Mahinda announces

    Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna Leader Mahinda Rajapakse has announced that former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa would be the Presidential candidate of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna.
  • US Assistant Secretary Alice Wells calls on Mahinda

    US Assistant Secretary Alice Wells calls on Mahinda

    United States Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Alice Wells called on Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa at his official residence in Wijerama on Sunday morning, August 11 and held discussions. She is currently on a regional tour visiting India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
  • SLPP leadership handed to Mahinda Rajapaksa

    SLPP leadership handed to Mahinda Rajapaksa

    The Leadership of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) has been handed to the Opposition Mahinda Rajapaksa at its National Convention held at the Sugathathasa Indoor Stadium today, Sunday, August 11.
  • Govt plans to sign agreements violating the constitution: Dinesh charges

    Govt plans to sign agreements violating the constitution: Dinesh charges

    Joint Opposition Parliamentarian MEP Leader Dinesh Gunawardena has charged that the government was entering into international agreements detrimental to the country and in violation of the constitution.
  • Navin Dissanayake at Naga Vihara

    Navin Dissanayake at Naga Vihara

    Plantation Minister Navin Eranjan Dissanayake visited Yarl Naga Vihara on Saturday, August 10 during his visit to Jaffna.
 

None seeks the taking away of foremost place accorded to Buddhism; we urge ensuring freedom for all faiths: Rauff Hakeem

Rauff Hakem 700 09
Sri Lanka Muslim Congress Leader Minister of City Planning, Water Supply and Higher Education Rauff Hakeem has categorically stated that no one wants the foremost place given to Buddhism to be taken away, but there was no harm in adding a few words to the Constitution to ensure that the other religions in the country would continue to enjoy the freedom they currently enjoy which had been enunciated in the bill of rights chapter. That is all we want, nothing more and nothing less.

Hakeem made this observation participating in the Constitutional Assembly meeting recently.

During his address, Hakeem said:

“It should be understood that amending a constitution would mean that they would have to present a bill which in the long title would describe it as a bill to amend or to replace a constitution. Today what had been placed before the House was not such a document and those are all documents to be considered by the assembly, to later on formulate a bill to replace or amend the constitution.

Attempts are being made by a variety of parties in the house to create an impression as if we are attempting to change the constitution in a hurry. We set up this constitutional assembly for the solemn purpose of preparing such a bill to replace a constitution and address issues which we have pledged to the country in a variety of manifestoes by a variety of parties in this chamber as if to make out that we are in an attempt to introduce a constitution which does not accord with the basic norms of constitution making. That we must deny as we have set up a steering committee which deliberated for several sessions and we have taken great pains to look at various contentious issues pertaining to the structure of the state.

We attempted to look at the concept of a unitary state and look at the obstacles for devolving power in a unitary state in order to enable the provincial councils to enjoy their powers in the proper manner as envisaged in the 13th amendment. Going by the history in devolving power in this country there is a yearning by the people living particularly in the Northern and Eastern provinces and provinces in the south.

There is a document that has been tabled which gives details of what the chief ministers in the south came and spoke before the steering committee. All of them have been asking for more powers to look at various provisions in the constitution which inhibit the devolution of power in the proper sense. Therefore, this was a very solemn and sincere exercise to make a truthful departure from the constitution to enable the provinces to enjoy power in a proper manner.

There were several contentious issues. They also make out as if we are trying to take away the foremost place given to Buddhism in the constitution. The PM in his speech today, said that there was never an intention to remove the foremost place given to Buddhism in the constitution. He also referred to the history when Buddhism was accorded such a place during Dudley Senanayake’s time and that those provisions had come over a period of time.”

 

 

 

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