BY Ruwan Laknath Jayakody
The newly-established Lawyers Forum for the People (LFP) organisation whilst calling on the rulers to further strengthen the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, informed they would intervene to take all measures to oppose any move to repeal it.
These sentiments were expressed by the LFP’s Convening Board Members and Attorneys-at-Law Senaka Perera, Namal Rajapaksha, Achala Seneviratne and Upali Ratnayake while addressing the LFP’s maiden Media briefing held yesterday (17) in Colombo.
Perera observed that the 19th Amendment contained salient provisions which safeguarded the rule of law, the independence of the Judiciary and provided some measure of relief and equality to the people in terms of their rights, through a mechanism and process of meting out justice, via independent Commissions.
Whilst criticising the immunity afforded to the President under Article 35(1) of the Constitution, Rajapaksha claimed that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had violated the Constitution by taking over the Defence Ministerial portfolio. He warned against moves that were underfoot to attribute all ills and failures of the rule of the previous United National Front led regime, especially that of its lack of leadership, to the 19th Amendment to the Constitution which contained progressive independent Commissions. The need to resolve the national ethnic question before the country and aspects pertaining to reconciliation too was highlighted by Rajapaksha. He also urged the empowerment of the Judiciary under a new Constitution through the establishment of the post-enactment judicial review of legislation.