OMLANKA

Parliamentary majority jettisoned accommodation of dissent: Hakeem laments

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Sri Lanka Muslim Congress Leader Minister Rauff Hakeem has lament over the fact that Parliamentary majority jettisoned the Parliamentary feature of accommodating dissent. Alternative points of view could not be presented. What was more pathetic was that alternative views were considered rebellious, anti-national and unpatriotic.

He stressed that whatever form is adopted, it must ensure transparency, acceptability and high quality of legislative output and executive excellence. The country is on the threshold of a process of constitutional reforms to avoid the pitfalls of the past. A debate on relative merits and demerits of the presidential form of governance is before the people.

Sri Lanka Muslim Congress Leader and Urban Development, Water Supply and Drainage Minister Rauff Hakeem made these observations joining the vote commemorating the 70th anniversary of Parliamentary democracy in Sri Lanka, which was moved by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday.

He went on that while we celebrate 70 years of parliamentary history, it is opportune for us to look squarely at our profound failure to forge an overarching national ethos of democratic debate and to reflect with some degree of disappointment at the gradual decline of the quality of debate in the house.

He added that the first Parliament disenfranchised a segment of the people who voted at the elections. That was the thin end of the wedge that over the years developed into a process resulting in a conflict that lasted three decades. Emerging from the conflict, we defeated a cessationist movement, but failed to restore the kinships and fraternal relations among our diverse people.

 

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