President Maithripala Sirisena said he would continue to work to strengthen the government with the support of all the parliamentarian extending cooperation to the government for the benefit of the country and the people. He said that he extends an invitation to all the 225 MPs to join the efforts of the government, irrespective of party differences.
The President made the above statement addressing the heads of media institutions today (April 6) at the President’s House in Colombo. Replying to a question he said that future of the current cabinet ministers and the proposed reshuffle would be discussed at the Central SLFP Committee meeting scheduled to be held on Monday (April 9) and the reshuffle will be studied by a joint committee of the two parties and it would be done in a scientific manner. He said that he had discussed regarding this with the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday.
President Sirisena, referring to the alleged corrupt practices at the election of chairpersons of local government institutions, said that the legislation pertaining to local government bodies must be amended. He pointed out that the election of over 8,000 members to local government bodies was an unnecessary burden on the government and proposed that the number of members must be reduced to 4,000 at the next election. He said that the increase of members has led to unethical practices and corruption as evident from the incidents happened during the election of chairpersons. Legislation pertaining to local government authorities had lead to a situation where the people’s mandate is not being accepted, he further said.
The President remarked that the political parties that have won elections merging with opposition parties do not add any value to the people’s mandate.
Answering a question on UNHRC meeting in Geneva, President Sirisena said that Sri Lanka’s position was well explained by the Ministers Tilak Marapana, Dr Sarath Amunugama and Faizer Mustapha. He said that the government will not agree to appoint any foreign judges.
Referring to the demands of the TNA, President Sirisena revealed that TNA leader R Sampanthan told him that whatever the solution, it will have to be implemented with the consensus of the majority Sinhalese.
He said that the proposed new constitution is a matter for the Parliament and the Parliamentary Committee appointed for this purpose is working to find a consensus agreeable to all the parties concerned.